Joe Anderson on using Retrospectives for self-development as well as team development

As Scrum Masters we are intimately familiar with Retrospectives. We plan, organize and facilitate retrospectives for our team members and even larger chunks of the organization. But when was the last time you did your own personal retrospective? Leading by example is a concrete path for success so do the same things you ask the team to do. In this episode we discuss concrete examples of “leading by example” with Joe Anderson.


Retrospective format of the week

Joe Anderson recommends the Movie Review retrospective.

  1. Ask the team to think of a movie that illustrates what happened in the previous sprint
  2. Ask each team member to review the Sprint as if it was a movie
  3. List down the “ups” and “downs” with the team member speaking
  4. Dot-vote to select the concrete focus for the next Sprint
  5. Help the team decide on a concrete action to tackle the key topic they identified in the retrospective

About Joe Anderson

Joe is a Scrum Master at a small travel technology company with a passion for bringing out the best in people and building deep relationships. He works hard to foster an environment of safety, fun and learning with a focus on relentless improvement.

You can link with Joe Anderson on LinkedIn and connect with Joe Anderson on Twitter.

One thought on “Joe Anderson on using Retrospectives for self-development as well as team development”

  1. I cannot wait to try it this with my teams when I see they need a bit more fun in a retro! The follow-up questions and the framing of the moving review exercise are key. It just oozes with potential. And those question you ask to drive the conversation can make it go from normal interaction to deeper insights and even a realization by the team it is time to do something. For example, I just ran the Constellation exercise with the team and they had a lot of fun with it. I started with a simple and question that call we here a “a softball” – “Are you satisfied with the results of the last sprint?” Then I focused questions around an area I have been trying to influence the team to improve – don’t just show up a retro seeing stories for the first time or one that the team found complex. Find a way as a team to better prepared to ask pointed questions, do some research, look at code if need be and talk. Really understand the stories a bit deeper. So, I planted questions to lead them there again. For example, “ The team is not often finding surprises when it works a story”. “I understand the upcoming work”, and Refinement is working well in creating shared understanding”. When the team saw all 3 “constellation groupings” near the “outer edges of the solar system”, well they acted the next day with a new approach. My other team had the same reaction to these questions.

    Thanks for sharing, Joe! I enjoyed this week.

    Vic Bartash

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