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Manage your sprint retrospectives in Online Scrums

How often have you sat in a sprint retrospective, your scrum master asking each team member the usual "what went well?", "what didn't?", "what should we do differently?" and the responses from the team lack significant reflection and substance? You are not the only team to experience this, and Online Scrums believes that quite often this lack of effectiveness comes down to two factors;

  • 1) It is not always easy to reflect on two weeks (assuming you're using a two-week sprint of course). Ask yourself as you read this, what did you do well two weeks ago?
  • 2) Not everybody is comfortable in group settings, no matter how well your team works together.

If you've read about Online Scrums you will know that we are committed to delivering improvements to functions that are largely neglected by conventional agile scrum software, and the retrospective sits well and truly in that bracket. A wiki page or word template isn't a very effective method of capture information that could be very important to implement continuous improvement in your team.

So our answer is simple, we have added the sprint retrospective to Online Scrums and we believe you're going to appreciate the simplicity and elegance of it.

Why would we add it to Online Scrums?

Your team is submitting regular and video reports and performing daily scrums. Your scrum master and product owner are using the data provided to analyse the progress of your projects and the effectiveness of your team. It made sense then to leverage off this access to encourage continuous feedback.

Going back to our factors that lead to ineffective retrospectives; factor one, Online Scrums now encourages continuous feedback by providing access to a quick and easy method of submitting feedback that will then be reviewed in the retrospective.

By clicking the retro button (available throughout Online Scrums they will get the below;

We believe that by providing feedback while it's fresh in your team's mind, you will receive more, high-quality wins, areas of improvement and actionable change suggestions. The better the quality of feedback, the more improvements can be made.

Now, factor two, Online Scrums provides a platform for capturing information that is going to rely much less on a team members ability to verbally communicate in social or group environments. It is, by its very nature, less confronting and again this can only lead to higher quality feedback.

Running the retrospective in Online Scrums

As with your usual retrospective, Online Scrums focus' on three key types of information; what did the team do well (we like to refer to them as wins), what they didn't do well (we prefer to suggest these are potential areas of improvements) and what changes should the team make (we also suggest that these must be actionable changes).

Feedback is captured against team members (note that not participating team members and observers can also contribute) and to make things easier the scrum master can enter additional feedback during the retrospective on behalf of other team members.
As a side note, you can see above that attendance is captured including any guests or non-team members.

We think this is a great addition to Online Scrums, what do you think?

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