November 14, 2014

Agile Retrospectives

By Michel Golffed

A few weeks ago, our team participated in RailsRumble, a 48-hour-non-stop programming competition. We named our app KaigiJapanese for “business meeting”.

Kaigi

Kaigi helps remote teams running Agile retrospectives. It is completely free and awesome.

Combining Kaigi with a video conference tool will simply do the job. Give it a try!

This is our suggested guide for an efficient Retrospective meeting:

Prepare the agenda taking into account the available time. In this case 50 min. There should always be a limited timespan for a meeting.

  • 5 min – Introduction / go over the plan from previous meeting.
  • 10 min – Data collection:
    • Each member should write down their feelings using simple keywords on stickies.
    • Use the Start-Stop-Continue technique.
    • Consider: technical stuff, planning, estimates, design, communication, demos, deploys, etc.
  • 3 min – Grouping:
    • Group together related topics – this will allow to learn from each other’s comments.
  • 2 min – Voting:
    • Each member has 5 votes.
    • Each member will vote for the topics they‘d like to discuss.
    • This voting will determine the priority for each topic.
  • 25 min – Go over the topics:
    • Discuss each item.
    • The number of topics that will be discussed depends on the available time.
    • For each topic, the moderator will take some notes to discuss in the next phase.
  • 5 min – Action plan:
    • Create actionable items.
    • Every item should have a due date.
    • Define the responsible for each individual item. Some items could be for the entire team.
    • The next meeting should start by analyzing whether the action items were completed or not.

Each topic that wasn’t discussed during this meeting should be included in a backlog to be reviewed within the next session.