One of the key parts of the Agile process is the idea of retrospectives. Often, these retrospectives take the form: same of, less of, or more of. The point of retrospectives is to realize where you can improve and also what you are doing well as a team. On my current project, we have these team retros every two weeks, and we highlight the same things (mainly what we are doing wrong) every two weeks. This has caused frustration throughout the team as nothing ever changes. Eventually, we came up with a few ways to ensure that we were getting value from our team retrospectives.

One thing that really helps retrospectives is complete honesty. However, you may have to be careful how you go about bringing things up, as it could cause a rift in the team. Another thing to keep in mind is to always have at least some solution/input on the problem that you bring up during the retrospective. For example, if your stand-ups are taking 30 minutes and providing little value, suggest a way to direct content. It is also important to be open to other solutions as your teammates might have a different view, or a smarter solution for your team.

It is important to have quantitative solutions to your problems. Back to the stand-up example, if they take too long, have someone time everyday and make sure you adhere to the standards agreed upon by the team. The last thing about retrospectives is that you should not forget to focus on the “more of” aspect of the retrospective. One reason this part of the retrospective is important is to reinforce the team’s good habits, and make sure that the team does not regress. Another reason that this could be a good part of the retrospective is to boost the morale of the team. If your retrospective is an hour long, and the whole hour is stuff the team did poorly, this could damage morale and frustrate the team, leading your team to regress. Also, everyone likes being told they are doing a good job.

In conclusion, retrospectives are a very important aspect of the Agile methodology and can be a very valuable aspect as well. It is important, as a team, that you don’t fall into the habit of bringing up the same things in the retrospective week after week without actually addressing those things. Some other things to keep in mind about retrospectives is to be honest, but respectful. Another thing that can improve your retrospectives is to offer solutions to a problem, that you bring up. Also, you need to ensure that you’re actually addressing the problems and quantify the solution, such as making sure no one rambles on in a stand-up. Finally, you cannot forget the “more of” aspect of the retrospective. It’s important to reinforce good habits, and everyone likes being told they are doing a good job.

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