Activities for successful retrospectives

Santiago Andrés Montoya Alzate
Development Leader

Is there a single activity through which we can evaluate the work and progress of our team successfully? There is not, but there are plenty of activities and tools that will help us see progress, mood, and different difficulties of our teams.

To start, it is important to carry out an activation activity where we will prepare our teams to be ready and attentive to the retrospective activity. It is essential to have the team’s attention constantly to avoid losing focus and for the activity to be a success. A minimum distraction can alter the results that we want to achieve with the activity.

These are some of the activities that Cidenet has carried out in our retrospectives:

Activity #1: Explorer, Buyer, Holidaymaker, Prisoner

A poster is drawn on the board or prepared, where there are four boxes with the drawings of Explorer, Holidaymaker, Buyer, and Prisoner.

The team is told what each quadrant means.

Explorer: Wanting to investigate, what worked, what didn’t, and how to improve.

Buyer: Positive attitude, happy if something good comes up.

Vacationer: Reluctant to participate actively but aware that hindsight is critical to the team’s progress

Prisoner: He is present only because he feels the obligation.

The team will vote in each quadrant to define how they feel based on the meaning of the quadrant.

The objective of this activity is to demonstrate how the team members feel about the SCRUM ceremonies and activities of the project. If we have people who feel like prisoners or vacationers, we can change the dynamics of how the meetings are running and thus work more effectively.

Activity #2: Fast & Furious

Some online sites that are experts in hindsight recommend this adaptation with the theme of car racing, in the context of the famous movie Fast and furious, which can be a lot of fun.

This activity helps us define what things have made us go fast (fast car) versus things that have not gone well (furious car). Whoever has the most post-its wins the race!

In addition to these two options, there is also a fun zone, a space to highlight the colleagues who have helped us during the sprint, or the events that we found interesting. Likewise, there is a box to create actions that help us “repair” the things that we have identified as bad or for improvement.

Activity #3: Recycle, Ideas, and Stop Doing

It is drawn on the board, or a poster is carried, three boxes with the drawings of Recycle, Stop, Ideas:

The team is told what each quadrant means.

Recycle: Of what we currently have in the project, what can we continue to use and improve.

Ideas: Innovative ideas for the project.Stop: What can we stop, improve, or give priority to?

In post-is, each team member prepares to put in each quadrant what activities, attitudes, and tools should be Recycled, Stop (Stop), or engineer new Ideas.

All these activities are implemented within the Cidenet development teams, under the agile SCRUM framework. They are used as tools through which we can identify problems in time, as well as solve them and maintain synergy within our teams.

Thanks to this, we have been able to know at an early stage the perception of customers, what they think of the process and how they have felt during the different development Sprints, helping this to mitigate errors during development, minimize deviations during project execution and 100% comply with the agreement.