Focussing a team in a retrospective

Recently, my team seemed to be stuck in a bit of a loop with notes and actions in their past few Retrospectives. As Scrum Master, I noticed the pattern and had been wracking my brain for a few weeks trying to think of a way to encourage the team to think differently. I wanted them to put aside some of the external issues they had no control over and concentrate on things they can do to improve themselves as a team.

I was searching for a retrospective technique that would allow the team to acknowledge certain external issues but not dwell on them. I just used the Starfish Retrospective in the shape of a house, and introduced the retrospective as a way for the team to make sure their own house was being looked after. The volcano may erupt and cause us issues, it may not. Same with the avalanche.

For this team in their situation it worked well to create focus by encouraging the team to look inward, at improvements that they could make themselves. The format:

The lesson learned

Make time to think deeply about the team and the retrospective technique that suits the current situation. If you don’t know of any techniques to suit the situation, google it or just make one up! Test and learn.

Credit to Richard Shy for the illustrations!

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