Our HR team in Titansoft may not be a scrum team like that of our software developers but we do believe in adopting certain practices to understand what a majority of our staff go through as well as to reap the benefits of these practices. Today I’d like to share about one such practice which we have been doing for 6 months now which is our very own version of a retro session!
No… I don’t mean the kind of retro where you wear bell bottoms and dance under disco balls. I’m talking about an Agile Sprint Retrospective a.k.a retro
What is a retro and why do we host it?
It is where our team sets aside a 2 hour block every 2-3 weeks ( call it a ‘ sprint’ if you will) to sit down with each other to reflect and discuss about how we are doing as a team as well as to discuss anything that had occurred during the sprint so as to find ways to improve as a team.
How do we conduct a retro meeting?
Our sessions start off with each team member sharing in 1 word or sentence how they feel about the sprint period that had just passed. Just so everyone can get an idea of how the other team members feel.
We take some time to individually reflect and write down things we wish to discuss during the retro such as past projects/tasks. We write them down on various coloured post-its whose colours represent different things:
- Green– Happy
- Yellow– Inspirational
- Red– Sadness
- Blue– Things we can’t really categorise into the other 3 colours but we wish to raise up
Once we’re done we put our post-its up along the timeline and the host will facilitate a discussion of each post-it, spending more time on topics that need addressing. Throughout this phase, the host will post questions that encourage members to think deeper on what they have learnt or how to solve a problem (if any) all in the name of improvement! 🙂
During the next step, team members categorize the post-its into the following wherever possible:
- Keep doing/ Start doing
- Stop Doing
- ? ( for things we wish to discuss further that did not have a spot on the timeline)
We choose 5 items that the whole team agrees to committing to improving for the subsequent sprint and add it to our working agreement. The working agreement ensures that the whole team has a common understanding and goal of what we are expected to do for the next sprint.
To end off we have a short feedback session on how we think the session went as well as how we can improve our retro the next time round.
That’s about it! Sounds fairly simple right? I’m sure you are wondering what benefits we reap from retrospectives so do check back for the second part of this blog post in a month’s time where I will be sharing more about what we have learnt throughout this process as well as tips on hosting your very own retro!