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Mariana Trigo: Icebreakers as boosters for great Agile retrospectives

Looking at how the team executes the process is one of the key aspects that defines the impact and success of the Scrum Master. However, there’s a lot more than process that we should take into account. In this segment, we also discuss the importance of adapting our definition of success to the company we are working with.

Featured Retrospective for the Week: The difference an icebreaker makes

When we start a retrospective, we have the challenge to get the team’s attention and focus. Mariana shares how she found and started using icebreaker activities to both address the team-jelling goal, as well as shape the mood for the retrospectives. 

In this segment, we talk about a list of icebreaker activities, which you can get here from the Collaboration Superpower’s website, and we also discuss the use of the Lean Coffee format in the retrospectives.

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches – Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experience: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome!  

About Mariana Trigo

Mariana’s path from Biology to Retail to IT, is a unique path in the search for purpose and the feeling of belonging. Helping development teams to reach their full potential by improving processes and people. Her favorite time is retrospective time, probably connected with her need to constantly get out of her comfort zone. 

You can link with Mariana Trigo on LinkedIn.

Tanzil Choudhury: A fresh new look at the Sailboat Agile Retrospective

Tanzil’s definition of success has evolved over time, and revolves around assessing and acting on the idea that companies and teams should be moving “forward” continuously in their Agile journey. 

We dive into some of the questions that Tanzil asks to assess if the teams are able to learn and advance in their journey. We also introduce the concept of “cultural hangover”, which Tanzil uses to describe one of the problems he wants to remove in the teams he works with.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: A fresh new look at the Sailboat Retrospective

Tanzil’s retrospective format of choice is the Sailboat retrospective (featured often here on the podcast), but he uses that in a specific way. For Tanzil, the Sailboat retrospective can be a great Futurespective, focusing the team on the future to define their vision. He then uses the Lean Coffee format to discuss the times that come up in the retrospective. 

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches – Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experience: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome!  

About Tanzil Choudhury

Tanzil is a passionate Agilist focused on coaching individuals, teams and organizations towards the Agile transformation journey. Specialized in working with teams and organizations to help them overcome cultural hangovers. 

You can link with Tanzil Choudhury on LinkedIn.

Rik Pennartz: Laugh all the way to a better process, the Meme Agile Retrospective exercise

In this episode, we talk about 3 aspects that Rik focuses on when evaluating the success of his work as a Scrum Master and coach. Listen in to learn what are the three questions he asks of himself and the team.

Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: The meme retrospective

How can you start your retrospective in a funny, yet insightful check-in exercise? In this segment, we talk about the Meme Retrospective exercise. Have every team member look for a meme that described their last sprint. Print those out, and paste them on the wall where you will have the retrospective. You’re sure to get a laugh, while still talking about the real issues the team is facing.

About Rik Pennartz

Rik is an agile coach, who’s worked during the last years at the Volksbank, the Dutch Railways and ABN AMRO bank. Rik also teaches various agile courses such as Professional Scrum Master, DevOps fundamentals and Leading SAFe.

You can find Rik Pennartz at the Cap Gemini Academy.

You can link with Rik Pennartz on LinkedIn and connect with Rik Pennartz on Twitter.

Moana Pledger: Lean Coffee, the super flexible and effective Agile Restrospective format

In order to assess her success as a Scrum Master, Moana likes to look at the team members’ ability and willingness to take on the responsibility for learning and adapting to the challenges they face. But there are other signs like the team taking responsibility for preparing and hosting their own retrospectives. Finally, we talk about the idea of “swarming” and how teams that implement that approach ends up achieving more.

In this episode, we talk about the 3-amigo sessions, team health-checks and their role for Scrum Masters, a technique called Satisfactogram, and the “pats-on-back” technique, which is similar to the Kudos Box from Management 3.0.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Lean Coffee

Lean Coffee, a format we referred to in several other episodes, is a good format to help teams explore what is critical for them at that time. Moana describes how this format is a safe format for team members to approach topics that may seem untouchable when using other conversations and retrospective formats. We should also note, that the Lean Coffee format is also very good at helping to discuss the “edge” topics, that could easily be forgotten otherwise.

About Moana Pledger

Mo started her career in education and program management before moving into digital delivery. She’s pretty sure she was a servant-leader before she had even heard the term. Her passion is to build healthy teams and foster the all-important relationship between business and team, which allows a safe space for the magic to happen.

You can link with Moana Pledger on LinkedIn and connect with Moana Pledger on Twitter

Remy Fletcher: The Lean Coffee as an Agile Retrospective format

Can the team work well without you? This is only one of the questions that Remy asks when evaluating his own contribution to the team’s progress. But there are other questions. In this episode, we discuss questions we can ask ourselves that help us understand how autonomous the team really is. 

Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: Lean Coffee

The Lean Coffee format has been a regular on the podcast. In this episode, we discuss how this format can help teams execute a retrospective in a short time, but still be focused on creating concrete improvement ideas to take on.

In this segment, we also refer to the Kudos practice whereby the team members highlight positive behavior and attitude by other team members.

About Remy Fletcher

Remy is a Scrum Master at a Fin-Tech corporation outside of Boston. Currently working with 3 scrum teams with a focus of migrating individual products onto a centralized, scalable platform.

You can link with Remy Fletcher on LinkedIn and connect with Remy Fletcher on Twitter.

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