Making Sprint Retrospectives Really Effective (Part 3 of 4)

August 27, 2012 CollabNet VersionOne

Developing the SMART action plan: In Part 2 of this blog series, I presented the details of areas A, B and C of the Sprint Retrospective table covered in Part 1 of this blog series.

  1. Reaching consensus on the Top 3 factors that worked well and the team wants to sustain them
  2. Reaching consensus on the Top 3 most problematic areas where the team wants to take specific actions to rectify the problems
  3. Understanding key statistics from the sprint just completed, and understanding the Top 3 major impediments or impediment patterns and their causes

If there is no action plan in response to all the information collected in areas A, B and C, a Sprint Retrospective session will have very limited value.

With all the information from areas A, B and C in hand, the Scrum team should discuss and develop a SMART action plan that satisfies the 5 criteria listed below (hence the name SMART).  SMART action plans for Sprint Retrospectives have been quite popular, and other coaches and agilists have also written on the subject.

An example of a SMART action plan is shown below:

* To download a copy of the Daily Journal Template cited above, please click here

In a Sprint Retrospective, the team should also visit and review the log of past SMART actions in the Sprint_Retrospective_Log to see if similar actions being proposed now were already captured in the log.  If the Scrum team notices that a new action story being proposed is already there in the log, or overlaps with an existing story in the log, the team should recognize that it had committed to undertake the same or similar action in a past Sprint Retrospective.  The team should then discuss if the action is already in progress, running into some impediment, or not even started; this candid discussion itself would throw significant light on how effective the team’s past SMART action plan has been, and would point out remedial actions.

In the next part of this blog series, I will present how to capture the results and actions of a Sprint Retrospective in the agile tool, and conclude this blog series.

Part 1

Part 2

The post Making Sprint Retrospectives Really Effective (Part 3 of 4) appeared first on VersionOne Blog.

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