Retros should have an open atmosphere where every member of the team can speak honestly and feel confident that their colleagues will listen.
Allow 60 to 90 minutes for the meeting and use a private space where you can stick post-it notes to the wall.
A basic retro could follow these steps:
- The host explains the questions at the beginning and sticks a post-it note to the wall for each question.
- Each team member writes down one or more answers for each question on post-it notes and sticks them to the right part of the wall.
- The group discusses issues as they come up, or at the end.
- The host decides on actions to fix any problems raised, and assigns them to members of the team.
You could choose to cover 3 or 4 of the following topics:
- what went well in the last iteration
- what went badly in the last iteration
- what’s puzzling the team or what the team doesn’t understand
- who the team wants to thank (eg other members of the team)
These topics are just examples, there are many different types of retro. You can find more in the Retrospective wiki.
If you’re hosting the retro, you should pick topics which you think will prompt useful discussions in your team, for example on transparency, team learning or your working process.
Make a list of actions
You should use the information you get from your retro to improve your work and your working environment.
Make a list of actions that you’ll carry out to fix the problems that your team highlighted and assign them to people in the team.
You should aim to get the actions done before the next retro.