Retrospectives in a Virtual World
by Lakshmi Ramaseshan
I am a passionate agile practitioner who believes that if there is a “secret sauce” to high performing teams, it is psychological safety and great retrospectives.
Despite having worked in a distributed team environment since 2008 I suddenly found myself worried about team engagement in a virtual world, that had been filled with panic and uncertainty. I wanted to help my teams with a “Ready to go” Retro bag so they had a few tips and techniques at their finger tips and could have fun with it!
Pivot from Physical -> Virtual Stickies and Why
In January 2020, I joined Paciolan as an Agile Coach and was delighted to find 95% of their teams to be colocated. What a luxury! I quickly gravitated to white boarding a lot with my teams and running in-person retrospectives and other workshops with lots and lots of sticky notes. Then came Covid and it changed everything …
? A ScrumMaster in our organization had been helping all of our development teams with facilitating the team’s Retrospectives for over a year now.
? After showing them the way, we were getting ready to hand this back to the teams and had been working on a “Physical Retro Bag” to give the teams some tips and tricks. But now with Covid becoming a reality we had to pivot and create a “Virtual Retro Bag”.
Finding a “Good Enough” solution
I am a recovering perfectionist that found myself in a situation where I had to quickly find a tool that fit our purpose and setup a “Virtual Retro Bag”. This is where Jamboards came to the rescue! Having recently used Jamboards in a collaborative workshop at Paciolan I fell in love with it’s simplicity. Although not perfect, it was good enough to get the teams going.
Virtual Retro Bag: https://jamboard.google.com/d/1bSs7Ezq2LNWMR09ODOyGMEb79cUqy6Sj2ymApXWweSw/viewer?f=1
I hope you find this Virtual Bag helpful. “Copy” the Jamboard and create your own version of it and empower your teams to run great retrospectives.
Here is additional podcast content that Vivek and I did on agile teams, psychological safety and retrospectives.
Podcast Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnCh6jJCxZQ&t=96s