Retrospective – Sprint 1

As any good scrum coach will tell you, retrospectives are a vital part of implementing scrum successfully. I’ve heard teams laugh retrospectives off as “kumbaya” or “moan and groan” sessions, and even worse, comment that they don’t bother with retrospectives, because nothing changes anyway. All I can say to that is – fire your scrum master! If nothing’s changing, he’s not doing his job properly!

So what have we as a family learnt after our first sprint:

– We had fun seeing stickies move across the board during week. Getting family stuff done is hardly ever fun, so if using scrum can make calls to the dentist, getting the car’s shocks replaced and labelling kids’ clothes a bit more appealing, then that’s a really good thing.

– Seeing the stories and tasks on our sprint board really made us feel responsible for our tasks and getting them done. And having the board “speak” to delays makes it possible for both team members to acknowledge the delay without getting defensive.

– One of the stories on the sprint was probably too long for a week-long sprint and should perhaps have been two stories from the start. Story 1 – Sorting out all maintenance on the car. Story 2 – Getting the car’s paperwork in order.

– There is a definite bottleneck in the team. One team member has four stories, and another only one. Granted, that one story is the one that should have been two, so it has a lot of tasks. But the team member with the four stories only made a little bit of progress in the week, while with the small size of the tasks it should have gone faster. Reason?Β  Too much focus on work responsibilities instead, of family responsibilities …. Suggested solution: set aside 30 minutes at the start of each day to make any family-related calls, set up appointments and send faxes. Then it’s done!

– Velocity= 0. Not good. Not a single story was fully done, although there had been progress on all. But we’ll have to work harder next week to make sure we don’t wind up carrying stories over for a third sprint.

Tomorrow night – Sprint Planning for Sprint 2! Oh and we need to start thinking of how to handle forthcoming stories on the product backlog …

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2 Responses to Retrospective – Sprint 1

  1. Iris Perez says:

    I love this piece. Great example of how to creatively apply the principles and the spirit of the process without being mired down by “rules” and “laws” – that really aren’t relevant/applicable.And yet, you’ve stuck to the process in a very meaningful way! Very impressed. I am not a scum master or even a s/w “anything”. But I do fancy myself a “techie” so I’ve been around the terminology a bit.
    I am a single woman so you’d think it might be easy for me to just “get r done” but sadly that is not true. I procrastinate and I honestly don’t know what my stories are… I get so over whelmed because there seem to be so many. But … i think I will give this some thought and see how I can apply this to my own lifestyle. If what I am “doing” now (I use that term very lightly, haha πŸ˜€ ) is not working, it certainly can’t hurt to try another way and see what happens. So grateful or brilliant people who share!!! Thank you! iris

    • Hi Iris,

      Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you found this useful. I don’t for one moment think that my challenges are unique to being a working mom. The beauty of these techniques is that you can apply the principles to your own context. There is no one-size-fits-all when you’re using agile techniques for personal productivity. You use whatever works for you, and shifts your experience from being overwhelmed to being effective. And some days are still tougher than others, even with a system πŸ˜‰

      If you try some experiments, do pop in and let me know how you’ve gotten on?


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