As CEO and co-founder at Retrium, a tool that helps agile teams run more effective retrospectives, I spend a lot of time thinking and talking about the challenges facing agile teams and how retrospectives, when done correctly, can help those teams overcome blockers faster.
In my conversations with agile coaches, scrum masters, and our customers, I hear many of the same questions on a regular basis. Some of these questions focus on productivity and engagement while others are about how other companies are utilizing retrospectives, especially what tactics are used and how distributed teams collaborate.
VersionOne helped to shed some light on these challenges with the recent release of the 11th annual State of Agile™ survey, specifically around three key findings. First, retrospectives remain in the top 5 agile techniques up from 74% in 2016 to 83%. Secondly, distributed agile teams are becoming more prevalent with 86% of teams reporting that their teams are not all co-located. Finally, while 41% of respondents cited the need for consistent processes and practices as one of the top 5 tips for success with scaling agile, there was no tool or implementation practice mentioned in the results that specifically address the need for better, more consistent retrospectives.
One can go on to hypothesize that this means retrospectives remain varied, or even ineffective, in many agile spaces despite their popularity increasing. Or you could hypothesize that the flexibility of being able to customize each team's approach to retrospectives makes them more valuable and effective.
The truth is, we don't know. There has never been an in-depth study of how retrospectives are used in the real world.
It's time that changed.
Last week, we launched the 1st Annual Agile Retrospectives Report survey with the intention of finding the common use cases, needs, and practices so we can all better understand the role retrospectives play in continuous improvement. If you've ever hosted, participated in, or been invited to a retrospective, we want to hear from you.
The survey is open through May 5 and we'll be releasing the findings at Agile 2017 in August. Participants will receive the report via email as soon as it's launched.
We hope you’ll share your experiences.
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