Is a retrospective another meeting associated with boring duty, fatigue, no-reason-and-no benefit, low-quality time?

If considered a waste of time, people do not show up and find any possible reason to hide away. To many a retrospective also seems a risky, out-of-comfort zone “sorting out” of mistakes, associated with unpleasant meeting on the carpet with the boss. Revealing embarrassing mistakes is often associated with feeling silly, stupid, not good or clever enough, ashamed in front of the team. Weakness in power fights, lack of trust in future, absence of psychological safety, fear to initiate a conflict… lots of reasons to prefer not to participate.

How to meet the fears and overcome resistance?

Sharing between the enthusiastic practitioners at #Worldretrospectiveday at #SimCorp suggested the main directions to work with.

One is further profound work with agile values – openness, courage, commitment, respect, focus. And the only thing that really works for values is their active practice. This means facilitating such conditions when choices are made and behaviors happen according to these values. Deliberate application of liberating structures to empower dialogue and decision making ways is a great tool to practice agile values.

If we are looking forward to turn retrospectives into another kind of meetings and quality-for-all time, applying corresponding methodologies and facilitation ways is crucial for the values to be lived after, soft skills development to secure communication ways, and nurturing true agile spirit of team collaboration.

Using games and play, where the values are embedded in the rules of the game, could be an alternative to consider. Playful practice has always been essential for learning skills – and becoming a great team. One of the ways to use play for these purposes is LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®. Used alongside with other facilitation best practice, it can secure all the above mentioned requirements by it’s main rules – 100% participation, communication skills improvement, psychological safety to provide feedback, agile mindset development. Play also broadens the scope of experiment and comfort zones for doing something new.

It can turn a retrospective into a high-effective learning space associated with fun and smiles instead of fear and blame. Contact us at Agile Design if you would like to try.