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Retrospective Meeting: How and Why to Conduct It?

July 19, 2019 No Comments

Featured article by Hillary Walker, Independent Technology Author

The retrospective meeting is a ritual that every scrum team holds to solve the most comprehensive working issues. What does this magic word mean? This meeting serves as a time for discussions of workflow and introducing changes.

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There are many ways, which may help to boost your working productivity. For example, you can use the Standuply bot to automate retrospective meeting, standups, daily tasks, etc. It is also useful if you are looking for ways to replace the Scrum Master or manage the work of remote teams.

Why does the team need a retrospective?

Executives often ask this question when they are offered a retrospective. They say “Why? We can solve everything ourselves.” There are two main reasons why it is necessary to come, look and say what the staff needs to do and what should be changed in the working process:

1. Not invented here

If we offer ready-made solutions, they are often followed by a phenomenon “not invented here”. In case if the employees understand that this is a good idea, which needs to be introduced, they do not have enough dedication. The solutions, which are not “invented” by the team, but “imposed” or proposed from above, are less likely to be implemented.

2. Lack of experience

Software development is so complicated, that there is hardly an expert, who is able to describe how the processes in a particular team should actually work when solving a specific task. To find out, you need to try something, conduct experiments, look at what these or those solutions lead to. Only having tried, it is possible to understand, whether the certain practice is good or not.

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 Best practice

Moreover, there are things like a good or best practice. These are practices, which many teams use and which may help. For example, code review: is it a good or bad practice? It helps one teams. Others try to use it, and nothing good comes of it. This is because this particular practice is not good or bad: it can only be assessed in the context of a specific team and situation.

Therefore, it is impossible to say in advance whether it will give some advantage or not. Code review is just one example. In fact, this effect characterizes any practice – you never know in advance how effective it will be in a certain situation.

Conclusion

If a team pretty sure that a retrospective is a meeting in order to discuss their working process and somehow improve it, then, as a rule, it all turns that participants come, talk about something, and in the end, it does not lead to any changes. This is because the goal is not achieved, the plan is not completed.

If your team perceives this procedure not “formally”, understands its goals, knows in advance the most typical problems arising during the meeting, you can create a favorable atmosphere for the development of the self-organizing team.

 

 

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