Last Friday we had our last team retrospective for 2014 before heading off on our Christmas breaks. As it’s the festive season we decided to try out a Christmas tree retrospective, which was done in a similar way to the Hot Air Balloon theme.
With all of our retrospectives this year our focus has been to get people to contribute and share in some way. Trying different themes and getting people involved has helped towards building a collaborative environment, where people feel they can share new idea’s and things they’d like to improve.
To start we got a member of the team to draw the Christmas tree on our white board and then got everyone else in the room to draw a decoration or two.
We then drew a horizontal line in the middle of the board to separate out our thoughts. As one team member had drawn a star at the top of the tree and another had drawn the South Park character Mr Hankey at the bottom we decided the focus of the retro would be:
- The Star – things we enjoyed doing and want to do more of (this iteration).
- Mr Hankey – things we could improve or could have done better (this iteration).
We then gave everyone 5-10 minutes to write down their thoughts or comments (on post it notes) and place them on the board, aligning to the Star or to Mr Hankey.
Following that we grouped the comments and then discussed each grouping and came up with actions (where appropriate) for us to work on next iteration and beyond. The time box for this iteration was 1 hour in total.
Overall this was a really good retrospective with plenty of laugher whilst drawing our Christmas tree, and with a lot of conversation and some really interesting idea’s shared.
The take away for me from this retrospective was that once again getting people to contribute early makes the environment (room) more relaxed and allows people to be more comfortable to share their thoughts.