The FLAP retrospective is a blend of a futurespective and retrospective that takes into account Future Considerations, Lessons Learned, Accomplishments and Problem Areas that should be taken into the next sprint. It can be a fun and alternative way to engage the team in order to identify which risks and relevant action items.
As good practice, remember to set the stage and ensure that people are reminded that this is not a process of blame, but for identifying potential areas for change. If you have run this retrospective method several times before, you should see greater fidelity of ideas. If there are recurring items, this should be treated as a red flag.
Key components of a FLAP retrospective activity
These are things that we need to think about or focus on in the next sprint or not too distant future.
The key takeaways and highlights from the sprint just completed.
What the team is proud of or what has been achieved and worth noting.
Issues that arose or still exist that need to be addressed by the team.
Alternative options to try in your FLAP retrospective
Consider colour coding the notes into specific categories such as process and practices, technology and tools, Scope and schedule, and People and staffing. This can visually and quickly help the team identify if there is a common underlying theme that can be further discussed.
Future considerations is sometimes also know as future directions so you can use this space to identify areas of innovation, change and experiments that the team may want to try.
Ideas in the accomplishment section are great ways to give kudos and acknowledge effort.
You don’t have to stick with the FLAP acronym in terms of order of questioning. It might be worth kicking the meeting off in a more positive framework by starting with accomplishments first. Then share lessons learned and problem areas before moving on to future considerations. This has the effect of ending the meeting with a future forward mind set.
When it comes to navigating the future, what’s one thing you always keep in mind?
What key life lessons have you learnt that have helped to shape who you are today?
Grace Murray Hopper, a U.S. Navy Rear Admiral and pioneering computer scientist, helped popularize the notion that it’s better to ‘ask for forgiveness’ than to ‘ask for permission’. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Using a timer, you can Timebox discussions. This will keep the conversation on track and the retrospective on course.
Give people “silent time” to write, read and respond to what is being presented. It might just be a minute that can make all the difference.
Use the way the team votes to manage culture. You’ll get interesting insights when people vote individually. The last thing you want is the sheep mentality where people simply follow what has already been done.
Keep your team agreements in view during your retrospective. Remember you can add to them at any time.
In face to face meetings, doing things digitally allows you to collect ideas, vote and comment anonymously, and saves manual collation. If running your meeting digitally, use a video conferencing tool to give that personal touch.
Rotate the role of facilitator. Changing the role can break the routine.
How to run a FLAP retrospective in TeamRetro
Start your retrospective in a click
Log into TeamRetro and choose your sprint retrospective template.
Invite your team easily – no separate accounts needed
Send an email invite, a link or add to your Slack channel to get people started quickly. SSO options are also available.
Time to brainstorm
Each team member can now brainstorm individually under each topic. This avoids group think and allows everyone to have their say. They can indicate when they have finished, or you can set a timer so that you know when to move onto the next stage.
Group related ideas
Drag and drop related ideas to combine them for easier voting. TeamRetro can also automatically suggest ideas that are similar, saving you and your team valuable time.
Vote independently to avoid anchoring
Each team member votes on what they would most like to discuss further. The results won’t be displayed to everyone until you advance to Discuss.
Discuss the most important things first You and your team discuss the top voted ideas and can capture deep dive comments. Presentation mode allows you to walk your team through ideas one-by-one and keep the conversation focused.
Review and create actions
Easily facilitate discussion by bringing everyone onto the same page. Create action items, assign owners and due dates that will carry through for review at the next retrospective.
Share the results Once you have finished your retro, you can share the results and actions with the team. Your retro will be stored so you can revisit them as needed.
Congratulations! You’ve just run a retro like a boss.