Tuesday 18 October 2011

Sprint turnaround day

At work we use the Scrum framework to manage our work (or at least, try to - more about this later, perhaps), and today is sprint turnaround day - review of the last sprint's output, retrospective on last sprint's work, and planning for the new sprint. A fun-packed day of back-to-back meetings.

Sarcasm aside, I do quite like this day - even when our stakeholders pick the review as the time to mention something that should have gone into story capture weeks before. It's a refreshing day - if the last sprint went badly you can put it behind you and move on, and if it went well you can be proud of the functionality being demoed in the review.

However, recently our retrospectives have been going a bit stale. We used to use a traditional good/bad/actions type table, and then switched to a retrospective starfish, but where once all five areas had a few points in each, now we probably get half a dozen points in total. Of course, this could be because our team is functioning so smoothly there's nothing to change. Or maybe not.

So last sprint we did a retrospective on retrospectives. As a result of that, we tried adding a time-line activity to the retrospective, and this sprint we're going to try that again, and also make sure we go back and review last sprint's retrospective notes. We're also going to try not to stick to using just the starfish activity - if we have some actions we need to work on, we'll break those out separately.

The good news is, if we don't like it, we'll just change it again!

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