And you're correct. They usually are. They don't give you the results you're looking for. Instead, most of them just waste people's time and energy.
Retros by the book is a sure way to end up getting bored. "What was good, what was bad" IS boring. People just sit around nodding. Dutifully answering questions while waiting for the bell to ring.
Yes. Stop it. Right now.
But why? I hear you ask
If you don't get anything out of it, don't do it! It's the agile thing to do -- remove impediments. There is a pretty high chance your retros are just that. Impediments to your work.
But... and this is a big one: Retros don't have to be boring or wasteful
You see, there is something powerful hidden inside these meetings. You just have to know where to look for it.
Why do YOU run retrospectives?
The answer (I hope!) is because you want to get better and better... and better. To reach a higher state of productivity that really makes a difference -- You want to improve team collaboration and productivity.
And that's the promise of agile meetings!
When your team improves, so will the stuff you produce: More features, releases and higher quality keeps your customers coming back for more and (if you're lucky) keeps your boss away.
These meetings can do that.... They can improve how you work.
I've been running these things for years. I've seen both good ... and bad retros. I've seen engaging, fun and focused meetings that finds real problems and fixes them. I've have also seen completely pointless ceremonies, just there for the sake of being there.
So, yeah, I know how to use agile meetings to improve your team. It takes some preparation, but it is definitely worth it.
But this is also about knowing how to run any type of meeting effectively with confidence. In other words:
Tranforming your meetings from time-wasters into valuable time-savers and having people thank you for it!
Speaking of people, you also need to know how to deal with them. Some wants to dominate your meetings. Some are just quiet or shy and some are notorious nay sayers.
The art of handling a meeting is called facilitation (you'll learn about that later), but my point here is: knowing how to do this, makes you more confident and your meetings more appreciated!
I'm going to show you how to fix your meetings and set this straight.
Once and for all.
And for that reason, I uploaded a short video about this. It's a quick introduction to some retrospective concepts. Feel free to check it out now:
And while you do that, I'll be preparing some life changing (well, meeting changing...) posts you can use to make your retros useful again.
Learn how to run kick ass retros!
I'm a developer, running my consulting business while raising two daughters. The little one is 9 months and the big one four years. Yikes, time flies! Wish I had more time to spend with them.
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How to Run Amazing Scrum Retrospective Agile Meetings… Part 1