Facilitating the Retrospective
An AgilityHealth® Retrospective is a strategic retrospective that aims to help teams reflect on their last quarter or release and improve on the next quarter or release.
Your role in facilitating the Retrospective:
- Launch Assessment to the Team
- Facilitate the Assessment
- Review Results
- Analyze Radar
- Create Growth Plan
The retrospective is made up of three parts. First, stakeholders and team members take the assessment, then the team analyzes the results and works together to build an actionable growth plan.
Launch the Assessment to the Team
Review the Retrospective Agenda with the team. If the assessment is being taken during the retrospective scheduled time, validate that you have everyone's correct e-mail addresses and then launch the assessment. If the assessment is being taken in advance of the session, send it no more than one week in advance to Team Members. You should always send the Stakeholder assessment to Stakeholders one to two weeks in advance of the retrospective session so you have those results during the retrospective.
Once the assessment has been launched, team members will get an email similar to the below example. Have them click on Take Our Assessment to get started.
Each team member receives a unique assessment link in order to ensure each team member only completes the assessment one time. All answers are anonymous and will not be tied back to a team member in any way. We simply track whether each person sent the assessment has completed it or not and have functionality in place to allow the assessment to be resent, if the email did not come through the first time.
Visit the Team Member's guide to Taking a Team AgilityHealth® Assessment for more information.
Facilitating the Assessment
Intro Talking Points
These are suggestions for a TeamHealth® Retrospective (the scale may very by assessment):
Best Practices for Facilitating the Assessment
Be very clear with participants when it’s ok to select N/A:
Participants may want to select N/A when they are not doing a practice described in the question; however, push them to score low instead if it is a practice they should be doing
An example of a competency that may actually be N/A would be a Kanban team who only does rapid response work may select N/A for “Long Term Planning” since it doesn’t apply to their type of work
If any of the roles under leadership score low or has negative comments, talk one on one with them during the break and ask if they’d like to discuss with the team during the session or take offline individually, if needed.
“You don’t know what you don’t know”:
Encourage teams to think about “how they may not know what they don’t know” and have them score lower by default and only score high if they are “truly high-performing”, especially newer teams in their first year of Agile.
If your team is distributed and the retrospective will be virtual:
Use an online collaboration board (such as IdeaBoardz) for the activity where team members break into small groups and discuss the dimensions
Have each person/group post their observations so they are visible
Use features within the online collaboration board for the dot voting exercise, when possible (for example, IdeaBoardz has a voting feature)
Provide opportunities for everyone’s voice to be heard. If not all of the team members are remote, check in frequently with remote team members to get their input
Conduct a quick retrospective for the meeting at the end to get ideas for improvement and learn what worked well.
Also visit the Facilitator Quick Reference Aids for additional helpful tips, sample invitation emails and more.
Once the team has completed the assessment, you’re ready to review the results. We recommend you take a few minutes to demonstrate how to read the radar, before having the team break into small teams to review the dimensions. Our How are Related Competencies Identified article provides a guide to Dimensions, Sub-Dimensions and Competencies, common patterns and how competencies are related.
Before having the team break into groups to analyze the radar, be sure to review the textual responses and edit any that could tie back to a specific team member to ensure the results stay anonymous.
Have the team break into groups. Each group should review one dimension each. They should:
- View the detail view, with the dots for responses
- Zoom in to focus on that one section, making observations on Post-It Notes as they go
- Be sure to consider related competencies
- Look for trends and review the textual responses to confirm their thinking
- Document their strengths, improvement areas and any impediments they see
Gather the groups back together and have each one present their findings by dimension. As a whole group:
- Review the strengths, improvement areas and impediments found
- Look for trends
- Identify the top issues using dot/straw voting
- Along with the ScrumMaster, help them build a growth plan in AgilityHealth® with a few growth items for the team backlog and a few growth items for leadership/organizational backlog
To help you with analysis, review the How do I analyze assessment results article.
Create Growth Plan
The key deliverable from the retrospective is the Growth Plan created by the team to act on the areas that will help the team to grow and to ask for help from leaders on issues that are outside of the team’s control. With your assistance, the ScrumMaster will work on capturing the Growth Items for the team during the retrospective and ensure that the plan is of good quality.
Growth Plan Items are added to the backlog and worked by the team or sent up to Leadership to work. Be sure to fill them out as completely as possible. If the team has taken assessments previously, visit the items on the Team’s Growth Item tab and revisit any incomplete growth items you may want to include in the team’s backlog.
Visit Building the Growth Plan to learn more.