Do you do a retro?

Last updated by Brady Stroud [SSW] about 2 months ago.See history

This rule has been archived

Scrum processes are useful for more than just software development - it’s a great tool for organizing and optimizing all kinds of work, from presentations to meetings to events, sales, and more. The guys at SSW jokingly say, "you can't eat dinner with Adam Cogan without a retro about the meal".

You should get into the practice of having a retro for most tasks. It’s a great way to get feedback while it’s still fresh in people’s minds, and it lets you know what you need to change to be even more successful next time.

Get it in their mind at the kick-off

Let everyone know from the start that we do a “retro”, and what it entails (see the rule, Do you know what happens during a Sprint Retrospective Meeting?). This way, they will know to be mindful during the event/task/presentation and maybe even take notes. Then at the end, remind people, “In the spirit of Scrum, let’s do a retro.”

The 3 questions

Start with “What went well?” - everyone must say one thing. Then move onto, “What didn’t go so well?” This part can be painful but it’s important - we need to know these things so that we can make improvements. Finally, we ask, “What could we do differently next time?”

Adam: How was the presentation? Eddie: Yeah, it was alright.

Bad example: This line of questioning doesn’t provide useful feedback

Adam: What went well with your presentation? Eddie: People seemed to really relate to the case studies I presented. Adam: What didn’t go so well? Eddie: My demo didn’t work. That was really embarrassing. Adam: What would you do differently next time? Eddie: I’d definitely get there a bit earlier so I’d have time to troubleshoot that pesky demo on their wifi! That would also give me extra time to talk to the audience so I could find out what problems they’re hoping to solve with my session - it’s a good way to get more case studies!

Good example: The 3 magic questions got a lot more detail and the beginnings of a plan for next time

Adam Cogan
Joanna Feely
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