As we are working from home, everything was online so we had a virtual board, where everyone put their “sticky notes” and we discussed them afterwards. Team agreed to start with “what went well” first. One of the points they were happy about was that some discrepancies in the User Interface (UI) and some issues were found before customers could see them. By digging a bit deeper into the “why we were able to find them” it turned out that during some calls or when manually testing other functionalities, team members noticed some things that can be improved or should be fixed. One of the team members suggested, “hey guys, maybe all of us can spend like literally 5 minutes a week to go quickly click through the system – maybe you can notice some more issues”. The idea sparkled a discussion that took 25% of the retrospective´s time, which was great and a bit surprising taking into account that this team is more “silent type”. They communicated a lot, explained their points of view, gave many arguments – it was very awesome! What is more, it “opened up” the atmosphere a bit for the rest of the retrospective, resulting in some really promising outcomes. All of that made me start thinking – is focusing on things to improve the most important during the retrospective?
Two of the three pillars in Scrum are Inspection and Adaptation. As I see in many teams and in my own perception, Inspection usually means “inspect what is not working well” and Adaptation means “think how to fix it”. Of course we also celebrate success, but it is more about telling ourselves “good job” rather than “how can we keep doing the good job?”. Thinking about improvements to the work you’re doing (especially how you’re doing it) is of course important – but do not forget about what already works well and that maybe it should be expanded even further. Like in the example I gave at the beginning – we found a good practice a bit by accident, it worked well and helped us during the Sprint, so let’s continue and expand it.