Scrum Agile Project Management

Fun Retrospectives

If you are following an Agile approach to project management like Scrum, you should have adopted a continuous improvement practice. Retrospectives are the name of the meeting when the Scrum team makes a pause to think on how to improve its current. Fun Retrospectives is a book that should help you to animate these meetings.

Fun Agile and Scrum Retrospectives meetings

The material of this book can however be applied to many types of team project meetings like kick-off meetings or risk management meetings. The book discusses the following types of activities that you can use for your meetings:

  • Energizer activities can be run to warm up the team and promote group interaction.
  • Check-in activities gather information such as how the participants feel toward the meeting
  • Main course activities are the core of a meeting. They are used to gather data, bring up feelings, talk about the positive stuff or acknowledge people.
  • Filtering activities are used to find the endpoint through prioritization, voting, and comparison, but are also about finding and creating the commitment and alignment that lead to the next step
  • Checkout activities typically gather information about the meeting itself

The book proposes a large number of activities for each type mentioned above. All these activities are presented in detail and seem both very interesting and fun. Most of them use some visual artifacts and a board to engage people.

Making a choice has been very difficult, but here are some of the activities proposed in the book that look more special:

  • Happiness Radar: This activity is very useful for opening a retrospective, narrowing down its context. It establishes a sequence for the retrospective, so participants first hear about people’s feelings (on happiness) before going into a data gathering activity.
  • Collaborative Product Vision: This activity encourages the team to work together for defining the product vision. The result of this activity is a shared product vision written by the whole team, thus, bringing the team together from the early stages, as well as defining the vision.
  • Empathy Snap on Big Hitter Moments: A great activity (ice breaker and data gathering combined!) that gets the participants guessing each other’s big hitter moments.
  • The Story of a Story: This activity targets process improvement by analyzing a work item execution path (its story). We have used this activity for analyzing User Stories’ execution path. Please replace the word Story for whatever work item you are working with (e.g. feature request, bug ticket, order item).

I will recommend this book to every people that have to animate any meetings involving a team, whether you are using an Agile or a traditional approach to project management.

Reference: Fun Retrospectives – Activities and ideas for making agile retrospectives more engaging; Taina Caetano and Paulo Caroli;
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