How to effectively do a remote retrospective?

Introduction:

In an agile environment, one of the most important team events for any team member is the retrospective. A retrospective is a regular opportunity for teams to examine their collaborative ways of working and looking for different opportunities to improve their teamwork and processes as a whole. The retrospectives have well-understood structures and are meant for the team to look behind on the sprint that has passed. What went well, what worked, what didn’t work, when to stop, when to try new things, etc are evaluated in a retrospective. Thus it is an intimate moment of honesty for everyone in the team. Team working in different domains can take benefit from this especially software development, game & mobile development etc. and many more.

So this is what a retrospective is and has different tools and techniques that are applied. Though these tools and techniques are not difficult to apply when the people involved are in the same room. But what should be done when the case is otherwise? This year has been quite tough for everyone due to the pandemic and has forced people to work remotely. While working from different places, it becomes difficult to stay connected to one another and keep an eye on everyone’s work. The same is the case with a retrospective where it becomes difficult to discuss everything like what worked, what didn’t, and much more. Similarly, how do you brainstorm new ideas when you’re so used to getting up and writing on a whiteboard? These and many more activities that are done in a single room were easy to perform. But now when everyone is working from different locations, this type of atmosphere is difficult to create. So how do you do a remote retrospective effectively?

Well, there are a variety of ways that can help us manage a remote retrospective effectively. Some of them are mentioned below.

Effective ways to do remote retrospective:

The following are some effective ways for a remote retrospective.

Make sure everyone is present:

In order to make your team feel valued and comfortable, it is important that everyone’s opinion is heard and discussed openly. While running a remote retrospective, it is your job to make sure that you don’t skip any member of your team even in the remote retrospective. This practice of involving everyone even through working remotely and having different time zones will make them feel comfortable and valued and that they belong here and their opinion matters.

Figure out the agenda and logistics:

When you’re face-to-face, any problem can be discussed openly, and then a common solution can be found. But when working remotely it can become a little difficult but a video call can solve this problem to a great extent as everyone is visible and can communicate more easily with one another. It is because discussions can become quite intense in a retrospective and not being able to see other people’s faces can make the whole team agitated and divert them from the original goal. So, it is important that everyone is able to see other people’s faces clearly.

Make your team review everything in the start:

Most of the teams hold retrospectives bi-weekly or monthly and everyone’s memory is refreshed at the start of the next retrospective where the whole team talks about what work was planned, what has been completed, what is left, and any surprises along the way or other significant events. Normally, the team leader reads off a list discussing all these points before the meeting. But this not only wastes a lot of time but also makes the listeners reluctant to listen to the team leader. What we recommend here is to ask the team members to call out what they remember from the past weeks. This will not only make them stay alert but also you’ll get to know how much they remember. Getting certified in scrum will eventually help teams to develop more friendly environment. Scrum Alliance CSM Practice Test and Exam Questions are really helpful in getting certified in first attempt.

Set a blame-free environment:

There has never been a problem-free environment anywhere. No matter how big or small your work is, it is natural that problems can arise. And when it does, no one person is to be blamed. Instead, if any problem arises, you should give your team members the impression that problems are systematic and can arise anytime and that it is not a single person’s fault. In this way, one person will not be embarrassed and would try to work more vigilantly to avoid any mistakes in the future.

Take feedback from your team:

We’ve mentioned a lot of times how important feedbacks are and they can help a team leader a lot to become better. So even if everyone’s working remotely, it is important to encourage your team to give feedback and find different ways to improve the retrospective for the next time. If for any reason, you don’t focus on knowing about what your team thinks, the consequences would ultimately have to be bear by you.

Take help from your team to decide what to do:

As the duration of a retrospective is not that long, so you shouldn’t waste your time discussing irrelevant things and focus on the main topic. Ask for everyone’s opinion to vote a maximum of 3 topics which they think are essential to be discussed and then focus on them after getting everyone’s vote. In this way, you will save a lot of time and only important topics will be discussed.

Use such a digital tool that is accessible to everyone:

When you have to work remotely and also establish a connection with the whole team, you should make sure that whatever the digital tool you recommend to use is accessible to everyone. Zoom, Skype, and Google meet are some of the very common and accessible digital tools that almost everyone who is working remotely is using. Thus the mode of communication should be something accessible. Scrum.org is also providing PSM Certification and PSM Certification Dumps are really helpful in getting in-depth knowledge of scrum practices.

Conclusion:

Thus we can say that remote retrospective can be made effective if we try to follow some of these tips with full determination. So, read these tips and helpful ways to make your remote retrospective effective now, and don’t forget to stay safe and never stop learning. With Agile Scrum Master Training you can show employees that you have the experience and skills to lead an agile team successfully.

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