Agile is a popular project management methodology that is used by Agencies, software companies, IT groups, and many other industries. The agile methodology provides employees within a company the ability to perform daily work in efficient and productive ways. Breaking up employees into teams that follow working cycles known as sprints, allows work to be properly planned, managed, and executed. One crucial part of the process is having a sprint retrospective time at the end of every sprint, or working cycle.

A retrospective is a time for the team to come together and reflect on the performance of the most recent sprint. The retrospective needs to occur when all team members are present and undistracted by work. The work free zone will allow team members to relax and open up.

There are five points that should be addressed at every retrospective:

  1. What went well in our last sprint?
  2. What needs to be improved in our sprints?
  3. Recognition of team members that stepped up and performed well
  4. General concerns from the team members
  5. A written record of everything discussed in the retrospective

This retrospective can be accomplished in five minutes or five hours, as long as the team feels they have a platform to which they can express their thoughts, good or bad, about how processes, team work, structure, software, etc. are holding up.

Having trouble getting the team to open up or speak their mind? Instead of pulling the classic teacher calling on student move, take the lead and start the conversation yourself. Everyone has an opinion about work and taking the initiative to start the conversation will help relax the team and encourage communication. I believe that without the retrospective meeting, a team cannot function to its full potential, and the agile methodology becomes ineffective.

There are several different software’s out there to help assist with running retrospective meetings in an efficient way. Regardless of whether or not you decide to adopt a software, implementing is the first step. Take the action today and let your team know that their opinions are heard.

Stay tuned for my next blog where I will dive into some of the different software available, and the pros and cons of each.