In their book “Fun retrospectives”, Paulo Caroli and Taina Caetano describe an activity “The story of a story”. Last Monday, we used this format to analyze why we had not finished any activity for the feature which we had assigned the highest priority during our planning session.
Different resources on the web distinguish different phases or steps that apply to a good retrospective. I like to group them as:
The activities we performed in our session are:
1. Scrummaster draws the timeline
2. Srummaster explains the technique to be used
3. Scrummaster announces of the scope (what happened during the sprint that influenced not completing these activities)
4. Participants write down post-its with relevant events
5. Participants stick their notes on the relevant place in the timeline
6. Participants explain their notes for the group.
7. Group discusses the notes
8. Group formulates lessons / improvement opportunities / action items
The steps 1-3 belong to the “set the stage” phase. Steps 4 and 5 collect the data, step 6 analyzes the data while step 7 and 8 represent the last two phases. As always, formulating action items was the hardest part of a retrospective.
Example of timeline:
The result was that we had a pretty clear picture of what went well and what went wrong.