Pick A Question — A Remote Retrospective
Given the current lock-down vibes, I am noticing quite a few Scrum Masters looking for remote retrospectives. If you are looking for new ways to run a retrospective remotely then this post might interest you.
TLDR: In this retrospective, the team would be presented with a series of closed question cards. Each member will randomly choose a question to open and answer.
Before the actual meeting, there is some prep which we need to do.
- Fire up your browser and navigate to Pick a Question Portal. (Time to brag: I created this portal on my own, yay! Well, not on my own, but with Vivek Ganesan)
- Enter the question you want to add in the ‘question’ field.
- Click on the ‘Add’ button, the new question card will be added.
- Continue the above two steps until you have added all the questions. the number of questions you want to add may vary depending on your team size or time available for Retrospective meeting.
Here are some sample questions which you may use.
Phase-1: Set the Stage
Once the prep is done, you may follow the below steps for facilitation.
- Join the remote retro from the tool of your choice (Skype, Zoom, whatever!)
- In whatever way suitable, go through The Prime Directive as a team.
- Open the Pick a Question Portal with already seeded questions.
- Present the screen to the participants. Now your screen should look like the image below. Make sure not to reveal any questions.
Phase-2: Gather the Data
- Request for someone in the participants to be the first volunteer.
- Once you have the volunteer, ask them to pick a question.
- The volunteer picks a question, say Question # 3.
- The facilitator (you, presumably) clicks on the said number to reveal the hidden question.
- The volunteer answers the question.
- Once the volunteer gives his/her views on the question, the other team members can also express the views for the same question.
- Now, the next team member will choose another question randomly and tries to answer the question.
The above steps are to be repeated until all the questions are discussed. The Scrum Master needs to make note of the views expressed by each team member using any note-taking tool (Notepad, Evernote, anything!), to be presented later in the next phase.
Phase-3: Generate Insights
- Present the notes to the team.
- To generate insights, ask any open-ended questions to invite a conversation. Here is a list of open questions you may ask in this phase.
Phase-4: Decide What to Do
- Once gathering insights is finished, ask each team member to come up with at least one improvement action item for the next sprint. (You could choose ideaboardz and request the team to post their action items)
- The team may do voting and choose the top one or two improvement action items that will be taken for the next sprint.
- Make sure the next sprint backlog has at least one of these action items.
- Collect feedback from participants using the ROTI activity of your choice (My personal favorite is Fist of Five)
- Say thanks and party (while still maintaining social distancing :P given the COVID scare and all).
Optional Step: Share Feedback
If you have made it this far, I am sure you would have some interesting stories/learnings to share with the community. Why not share them in the comments or in your own blog?
Thanks for reading!