How to strengthen a key Agile continuous improvement process: The Retrospective


03-12-2019
Monetical's Retrospective.Guru - screenshot

Monetical's Retrospective.Guru guides Agile organisations and Agile change agents through five steps to convert unstructured knowledge into structured organisational knowledge.

Agile teams and organisations work in Iterations, also called Sprints. These are fixed time periods in which the team works to create value that can be delivered to customers at the end of each Iteration. A key process in this cycle is the Retrospective. This meeting occurs at the end of each Iteration between the team doing the work and its stakeholders. It is the moment a team should reflect on itself and decide how and what to improve in the next Iteration.

Monetical has placed the Retrospective at the core of the Monetical Knowledge as a Service (KaaS) platform, because of its critical role as an enabler of continuous improvement. This core module is called Retrospective.Guru and it is designed for Agile organisations and Agile change agents (contractors and consultants) as a simple five-step guide. The link to a full description of these five steps can be found at the bottom of this abstract.

Monetical has identified several challenges with the way Retrospectives are performed today. How Retrospective.Guru meets these challenges is now explained.

One Retrospective challenge Monetical has observed is limited participation from some team members, either because there is a meeting conflict, or the meeting requires on-site presence at a distant location. Retrospective.Guru is available in the cloud and therefore allows 24/7 access and feedback collection from all team members, independent of their location.

Often Agile organisations are in constant fire-fighting mode and meetings are poorly prepared. 

Retrospective.Guru is a core module of the Monetical Knowledge as a Service. It ensures that this key Agile ceremony develops a continuous improvement process because it has identified and digitised a wide range of possible corrective measures to common Agile challenges. This frees up time and allows the team to focus on resolving issues unique to its organisation. Retrospective.Guru also ties in stakeholders from across the organisation into the process, thereby creating transparency e.g. if “poor preparation of Sprint Planning Sessions” due to Product Owners not having enough time is identified as an issue, then strategic HR will want to see this observation early in order to address the resource planning issue. Providing transparency across the whole stakeholder landscape into this continuous improvement process is valuable because some of these challenges require strategic changes. Organisations that do this successfully widen their focus from the short-term (symptoms) to the longer-term (strategic).

Some teams choose to focus on implementing one change identified in a Retrospective. They ignore other possible performance improvements due to time constraints or a lack of experience. Some teams write these suggestions on post-its and stick this to a meeting room wall. Retrospective.Guru embeds continuous improvement because it allows the digital capture and documentation of all identified potential corrective measures to the cloud (see Figure: Screenshot of Retrospective.Guru digital Retrospective Comment Board) thereby making it easily accessible to relevant team members. Here are some other important benefits of Retrospective.Guru:

  • The effectiveness of individual corrective measures is evaluated because a Rating mechanism is enabled.
  • Digitising corrective measures allows quick access to a holistic view of all the identified challenges. This can be quickly presented for reporting purposes.

Retrospective.Guru guides Agile organisations and Agile change agents through five steps to convert unstructured knowledge (post-its or verbal agreements) into structured organisational knowledge:

Step 1: Submit digital Retrospective Comments to the Comment Board

Step 2: Get a holistic view of feedback on the Comment Board

Step 3: Dynamically generated Word Cloud to reveal the most popular Retrospective Comments

Step 4: Identify Corrective Measures

Step 5: Project Implementation Board

Further information

This is an abstract. A full description of these five steps in Retrospective.Guru along with screenshots is available here: https://www.monetical.com/retrospective-expertise

Register today to access Retrsopective.Guru for a 30 day free of charge Evaluation Subscription at https://www.monetical.com/subscriptions

Learn more about the world's first cloud-based Agile Knowledge as a Service (KaaS) platform, Monetical  https://www.monetical.com/kaas

 

Monetical leverages decades of Agile consulting experience to create the world’s first and largest source of structured Agile knowledge provided on one of the world’s most trusted cloud computing services. Placing the Monetical Knowledge as a Service (KaaS) in the hands of your Agile transformation team empowers them with knowledge from Agile transformations that have already happened at the National Health Service, recognised FTSE and international organisations.

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