"Back to values" agile retrospective format

A week ago i proposed to my team a new format for the weekly retrospective.
I called it "Back to values" because the starting focus is on values and then on practices and actions to improve that practices.

Step 1: the values

I put on the wall seven big post-its with the values, on the pink post-its the eXtreme Programming values plus the team's values on the orange post-its.

  • simplicity (XP)
  • communication (XP)
  • feedback (XP)
  • courage (XP)
  • respect (XP)
  • trust (team)
  • sharing (team)

Each teammate has an up arrow and a down arrow and I asked them to vote the best performing value of the week and the worst performing one.
At the end of the vote we chose the two most rated values (no matter if with down or up arrow).
In our case the chose values was communication and sharing.

Step 2: the practices

For each of the two chose values (one at a time), I asked the team to write on post-its all practices that support this value, both if they had used them and if they could be useful to improve the value.
When they finished to write I asked them to put the post-its on the wall in a range between between :-( and :-)

Step 3: the self-organization

In this phase the team had to choose two practices for each of the two values. They had to chose it in five minutes and I did't give any suggestion on how chose it. 
Then I started a timer and made pressure on the team in order to chose in time.
I wanted to bring out some aspects:
  • self-organization is not easy
  • make choices under pressure is not an optimal situation

Step 4: the actions with their champions

As the last step i separate the team in two small teams (5 persons per team) and asked them to find a concrete action for each practice (2 values * 2 practices * 2 team = 8 actions) with the relative owner. The owner will not necessarily be the one who will perform the action but will guarantee the fact that someone will do it. They had twelve minutes to do it.


At the end of the retrospective each participant compile the ROTI

I'm very satisfied about the ROTI and about the trend of the retrospective. We collected a lot of valuable actions and the team felt satisfied about the activity.
I received this feedback:
  • "I felt very involved"
  • "It was nice to make us self organize, it was difficult and challenging to do it in such a short time"
  • "I liked it a lot and we also stayed in the times"
  • "I was confused about the colors of the post-its, we could use a color code for things that went well and badly"


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