A Bottleneck Focused Retrospective
If you do one thing well as a Scrum Master, a fresh and engaging retrospective must be high up the list of priorities. I find games are a great way to lightening things up and to spark insghtful conversation. The following is game pitched at software delivery efficiency and lean thinking — enjoy:
Step 1: To help players visualise and identify different types of issues, print out copies of the game handout, one copy per person. Give players (individually) 5–10 minutes to identify potential issues in their team and (optionally) to recommend a practical remedy to reduce or eliminate the concern.
Step 2: Determine the order you will go around the room (seating position, draw lots, arm wresstle, fist fight etc).
Step 3: First player states an issue they have observed together with its type e.g. “Capacity Constraint Bottleneck”. If they don’t have an issue they can pass.
Step 4: Group discussion …
Step 5: Vote — if a majority of the group accepts the issue, the player is awarded the appropriate number of points as indicated on the handout.
Step 6: The player can double their awarded points by suggesting an acceptable remedy (again decided by a simple majority). Other players can steel the additional points by putting forward an alternative better suggestion that is accepted by the group.
Repeat steps 3–6 for each player in the room, keeping a tally of points awarded. Repeat as many times as good observations are being raised.
Small print: Suggestions cannot be repeated and the Scrum Master has discretion on penalties for “unsports-person” like behaviour.
Have a fun retro …