The live with it/deal with it retrospective

Using different retrospective formats can get your team thinking in new paths and come up with further insights on how you can be even better on what your teams work.

I have come up with a retrospective format called “Live with it/Deal with it”. The point is for the team to identify what frustrates them and to reflect if this is something they can act upon to change or if they will have to live with it.

The format is based on two questions:

  • What made things easy this time period
  • What frustrated you this time period

Time period can be the time period you’d like to evaluate, a sprint, a month, a year etc.

The suggested board (mid workshop) could look something like this:

What made things easy this timeperiod

First generate ideas for the things that made work easy this time period. I suggest doing it using sticky notes, electronically (via Mural or Miro) or physically on a white board or a wall. After this, remove duplicates and categorize the notes and read them out loud. This will generate positive insights and strengthen the team not only to focus on the negative.

What frustrated you this timeperiod

The next step is to generate ideas on what frustrated you during the selected time period. As above, use sticky notes on a board. Make sure to categorize and remove duplicates. If there are many notes, a dot voting session can be added to only focus on the most important notes.

Go through each note (or the ones agreed upon) and read them out loud. For each, let the team decide if they would like to add it into the “Deal with it” or the “Live with it” field on the board.

After all of the notes have been worked through, you have a clear set of actions to take and also a record of what frustrations you as a team can live with.

So, get going on those “Deal with it” notes and create a plan to resolve them!

Further reading on what a retrospective is can be found here: https://www.scrum.org/resources/what-is-a-sprint-retrospective

Further reading on dot voting can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dot-voting

Jonas Carlsson
Agile Coach at Visiba Care

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