A global pandemic has certainly placed many pauses in the way we do things and how we work. Remote retrospectives is a result of this trend.

For Agile teams, retrospectives are a crucial part of their working methodology.

Retrospectives provide the opportunity for a team to look back and see how they can improve. Retrospectives can be a catalyst for organisational change as well as team change. They can be a place to build and enable teams, or to help teams start their journey from the best possible place.

So how do you make sure that retrospectives still occur during a global pandemic that’s made most teams work in a more distributed and/or remote way?

We recently came across this article from Kelly Cook, Agile Coach of AND Digital focused on sharing advice and guidance on how to run remote retros. Let’s summarise Kelly’s key points.

remote retrospectives for agile teams

Tip 1: Fostering collaboration in remote retrospectives

To foster collaboration through remote retros, it’s crucial to encourage team members to be explicit. Kelly offers some tips on this topic:

  • check in regularly;
  • conduct anonymous team health checks;
  • be visible;
  • choose the appropriate tools that will allow for easy remote collaboration and help facilitate open, honest and transparent communication.

Tip 2: Removing barriers

As Zoom calls become the new favourite way to communicate, we now have a screen acting as a physical barrier between team members. Kelly offers the following tops for removing barriers:

  •  clarify how your team wants to work together to achieve their objectives. Once done, make sure you stick to this way of working;
  • summarise throughout your retro;
  • facilitate better conversations;
  • manage conflicts

Tip 3: Maximise engagement during your remote retrospectives

Remote retrospectives can be successful when you maximum input from your team. Kelly again offers the following advice to maximise engagement:

  • start your retros by setting the scene;
  • minimise distractions and set clear roles, like timekeepers, and scribes;
  • keeping team members focused through games, music or something that keeps energy and focus high;
  • review the team’s actions and ensure that each person has ownership of specific tasks,

Read more

Read Kelly’s full guidance and advice on running remote retrospectives!

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