The power of a team - Our retrospectives

Jul 9th, 2019

The culture in an organisation is certainly front and centre when doing retrospectives. That was even more apparent during our latest retrospective.

There are moments when you really get to see what the real organisational culture is like. Retrospectives are one such time when you have an opportunity to feel and work within the culture.

Retrospectives by their very nature are emotive times. As a team, you open yourselves up to reviewing what can be improved, what was challenging, what you may wish to potentially avoid in the future.

Following completion of our Tech Returners cohorts, we always run a retrospective on our full end to end delivery of our courses. Being a growing business ourselves, I really enjoy these occassions where pause and reflect on our progress and as a team work ON THE business instead of the usual working IN THE business.

Our retrospective process

On Monday this week we completed our latest retrospective and we all got an opportunity to hear about each other's ideas and feedback. For people that have interacted with us, you will have often heard us talk about team effectiveness, diversity of thought and the impact/value this has on the end solution. Having each of our team members in our retrospective, all with different perspectives and ideas on what we can do to continually adapt, develop and improve was amazing!

As a group we focused on solutions and identified lots and I mean LOTS of potential adaptations to our growing delivery.

For those interested on the process of how we conducted our retrospective, we followed this method:

  1. Write out on post it notes, your ideas (thinking roughly about whether they fall under 'Start doing', 'Stop doing' or 'Continue doing'
  2. Take turns explaining your idea, do one idea then place your post it note up on the board (under the corresponding column). Next person takes a turn explaining their idea.
  3. Try to avoid going into too much of the detail regarding the solution (its really tough!)
  4. Using voting stickers to vote for ideas after everyone has gone through their ideas and placed on the board.
  5. Pick out and order the items by number of votes. Ignore anything that hasn't had any votes
  6. Going through vote priority order, place the items on a Landscape Diagram. X axis being "Certainty of solution" and Y axis being "Certainty of impact"
  7. Identify list of tasks that fall under a high degree of certainty for solution as well as high degree of impact

Whilst there was lots of value in ALL ideas, we used the above process to really focus in on our priorities and try to surface as much value as we can before our next cohorts start!

Another day that I'm reminded just how much I enjoy working in this team!

Resources:

RetroMat - A great tool for designing how your retrospectives might look