What is the KALM Retrospective?
“Keep Calm And Carry On” is a very British notion believed to have been first used as a morale booster in a war-time poster; the idea was that one politely acknowledged the challenges but didn’t allow those challenges to get the better of them.
It is with that stereotypical British fortitude (and good manners) that the KALM retrospective can be viewed.
KALM is a popular interactive sprint retrospective idea that presents team members with an opportunity to share their perceived value of the various aspects of the sprint. It reinforces the notion that all ideas are good ideas noting that some bring more value than others within the project context.
KALM offers participants a polite way of framing their support (‘keep’) or lack thereof (‘less’) of the various aspects of the sprint. It could therefore allow team members who may not feel comfortable presenting their opinion a safe environment to share.
At the same time, it promotes a sense of agency and utility allowing them to come up with ideas about what they could add or do more of to essentially help them carry on.
KALM Retrospective format
These are elements of the sprint that went well, delivered value and do not need to be changed.
These are a new ideas or things the team perceives will bring value to the team or customer.
These are things that currently exist, but team members either do not enjoy, are viewed as problematic or erode value.
These are things that are being done already but can drive more value if it was done more often, with greater regularity or with more effort.