Fun/Done/Learn — An alternative for scrum retrospective events
Last week, I participated to the Scrum retreat in Okinawa October 2018. This retreat is a good opportunity for agile coaches to gather, share experiences, provide or be provided some help, and, of course, to have some fun together.
During three days, we split into teams of 6 members, and ran a few sprints to address topics that we had agreed initially. My team came up with some interesting discussion around teams who tend to resist the adoption of scrum. While we were exploring the reasons to explain why such teams resist, we ended up defining a framework that teams could use to self assess based on 3 criteria:
- How much the team is able to deliver (Deliver, revised later to Done)
- How much the team is learning, and improving (Learn)
- How much the team is enjoying their work, and workplace (Fun)
We realized later that this reflects well Daniel Pink’s Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose, but also that this self assessment could be used during a sprint retrospective (or at a project, or phase level). And, this is how we gave birth to the Fun/Done/Learn retrospective (FDL).
How to proceed
- Use a large white board, or put together some large paper sheets to make the frame.
- Write 3 circles, crossing each other so that the overlapping areas are large enough to place some sticky notes inside later.
3. Gather your team around a table, each participant having a pen and some sticky notes (you can play with scarcity and limit the number of notes, if necessary).
4. Each participant will write down on the sticky notes all activities, product backlog items that they have been working on, or anything that happened during the sprint (no more than 3 to 5 minutes should be enough).
5. Participants will then take any sticky note that they did not write, and place it on the frame, where they consider it belongs. Continue this until all sticky notes have been placed on the frame.
- A sticky note refers to a feature implemented with a new technology, that was successfully delivered. Then it would make sense to place it where the circle Learn and Done overlap each other.
- Some other activity may have been fun, and helped the team to learn a lot, but without have a significant output. Then, it could be placed across Fun and Learn.
6. Participants take some time to review, share, and discuss around the frame. We observed that this was a good exercise to help the team bring the topic of definition of Done, or even definition of Fun ;)
7. Participants then each put a seal (or write a dot with a pen) on where the entire sprint belongs, and discuss about where they want to make the next sprint reach, and how they can achieve this.
Many thanks for the other team who accepted to play the game and run the retrospective with our framework, this brought us a lot of feedbacks that helped us refine it.
Finally, thanks to Team A (team Almost Done) members for helping to develop this interesting retrospective approach!