Christmas time marks an important moment for all of us within the year, as we celebrate and enjoy holidays with our beloved ones. After Christmas we build our wish/to do lists for next year hoping that we would be doings things better. But how do you make it work? End of the year is a great opportunity to inspect the processes and start with fresh new ideas.
Here are some proposals for activities that Agile Coaches/Scrum Masters/anyone could do to inspect and start better next year:
2018 Project Retrospective (more than 1 Team) - inspect and learn which were out Team's successes and opportunities for improvement for 2019.
The focus will be first on building the Timeline with the Team to remember the most important events that took place, achievements, failures. You could use two colors post-its, red for events inducing negative feelings and green for positive ones.
The second part would be collecting the data: the positive thoughts and opportunities for improvement.
We finalized the event with a Reteaming/Solution Tree - looking into the major problems, identifying the ideal image of how should this problem look like solved in the future, and what could be the measures/changes we need to agree to reach it.
Wish List with Team Rating - (1 Team) - introspect at team level and rate our performance (development, business, coaching, design, testing, meetings) from 1-10.
A great opportunity for team to speak openly and address the biggest concerns. While we aimed to increase the rating, we identified which are the weaknesses that we could use as strength for better results in 2019. We could feel that the topics brought here were more team related, rather than project related, and had a strong focus on team values.
All Retros Clean-up - look into our wishes for continuous improvement during past retrospective and review them.
We made sure we kept our agreements valid and we stick to our commitments. In the same time we checked whether we had the right method in place to recall the action points and to monitor their development until they are implemented and learned.
Awards and Recognition - give appreciative, constructive feedback for the team members, recognize the success stories and the work everybody did that led to a successful year.
This is extremely important as it motivates and energizes people, it inspires them. However we should not forget that the appraisal vs. critique ratio should be minimum 5:1 or even 5:0 in social problematic behavior (people who cannot stand critique).
Tools: 1-2-1s, thank you notes in team, appreciation game, Christmas Speech (include Success Stories), Sprint/Project Heroes.
For me Christmas time means learning from mistakes/failures, celebrate successes, change what does not work and look for new inspiring ideas.