Non-scrum team retros: The Good

In my first article about our HR team’s Agile Retrospective sessions I shared more about what it is and how we conduct the sessions. Today I am here to share more about what we have learnt about how it benefits us as a team.

retro discussion

I’ll admit, when we first started our sessions half a year ago I wondered how useful it would be. Couldn’t I use the 2 hours every week or so to complete more work or to do self studying instead? Well in this the time that has lapsed I’ve changed my mind on that, perhaps it’s because I am looking at it from a Psychological background so I have a deeper appreciation for the impact it has on organizational/team psychology. Here are some of the benefits that I feel these sessions have brought to the team:

Benefits for our HR team

  • Iron out the kinks– By setting aside a dedicated time to iron out issues within the team we know that even though we are busy with our various day-to-day tasks, we can ‘put a pin’ in the issue or a conflict and revisit it later at the retro session instead of just sweeping it under the rug. No escaping here!
  • Problem Solving– Sometimes only one or two members are aware of an issue that has arose and this provides the opportunity to explain to everyone the situation at hand and for the team to get together and provide input on how to solve the issue or to improve in the future.
  • Never stop improving– ( As is our company motto) There are always ways to improve even if everything is going great. Often we find that through discussing what was done well we somehow find an even better way to go about things.
  • Raise up any concerns early- Having an open and safe environment to highlight any concerns or questions we may have so as to nip them in the bud early before it snowballs a big issue.
  • Understanding- Sometimes we may not really understand the impetus or the reasons behind why a decision is made or things are done in a certain way we may disagree with and our prior biases can lead us to a conclusion based on misunderstanding. During our sessions, we have the opportunity to clarify this, even with our manager and team lead, so that everyone can have a common understanding on where they are coming from.
  • Catharsis- Ever heard of psychiatric sessions being a ‘talking cure’? Well, sometimes just talking it out with your teammates during the session about how you feel can really take a load off your shoulders!

All in all give it a try, it may feel odd at first (in fact I am pretty sure it will)  but I guarantee your team will reap the benefits in the long run. If I’ve managed to sell you on the idea of trying this for your own team do subscribe to our blog and keep a lookout for when I post some tips on how to host your very own retro 🙂

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