Do you’ve got any issues along with your retrospectives? Is there just a few folks with “robust voices” that will get their saying each time, speaking about what they take into account to be the issues, while others stay silent (and no mild is shred on what they suppose is unsuitable)? We had that downside, and it stored me busy pondering for a greater method to carry out retrospectives, the place we focus on what everybody within the workforce agrees are crucial.

Lean Coffee & distant workforce

Since I’ve been attending just a few Lean Coffees organized in Stockholm, I assumed that may be a superb format to make use of, additionally for a retrospective. I fired off some searches on the interwebz, that made me assured that it will work (extra info to be discovered right here and right here)!

However, there was another problem to unravel. The workforce was a distant workforce, with two people not working from the principle workplace. How to unravel that properly? Since I’m an enormous fan of digital boards, my resolution was a shared board in Favro!


(Digital Kanban board in Favro with 4 columns: ”To Discuss”, ”Discussing”, ”Done” and ”Actions”)

Introduction to Lean Coffee

If you don’t already learn about Lean Coffee, I’ll now shortly introduce you to that. So, what’s Lean Coffee?

”Lean Coffee is a structured, however agenda-less assembly. Participants collect, construct an agenda, and start speaking. Conversations are directed and productive as a result of the agenda for the assembly was democratically generated.” –

It was created 2009 in Seattle by Jim Benson & Jeremy Lightsmith. If you occur to be in Stockholm and desires to expertise the true factor, you possibly can click on right here for extra info.

How does a distant retrospective utilizing Lean Coffee work?

Preparation previous to the retrospective assembly

  1. In your favorite digital software (we use Favro), arrange a easy Kanban board with 4 columns:  ”To Discuss”, ”Discussing”, ”Done” & ”Actions”. See the image above for the way it can appear to be.
  2. Provide entry to the digital software for all of the assembly individuals.
  3. If a number of of the assembly individuals sit collectively (in a gathering room), deliver a laptop computer and share the display on a TV/projector.
  4. Use Skype/Slack/different cellphone convention resolution for audio.

During the retrospective assembly

  1. Generating subjects – Each assembly participant begins to put in writing 1-2 sentences on for every subject prior to now time interval (scope of the retrospective) that they want to focus on. Either they add the ”stickies” on to the digital board themselves (utilizing their laptop computer), or the assembly moderator can take the bodily stickies and write them into the digital board, utilizing his or her laptop computer. Remote individuals will after all add to the digital board immediately. A set period of time is spent on this step (like 3-5 minutes for a one hour retrospective). All ”stickies” are positioned within the ”To Discuss”-column.
  2. Presenting subjects – Each subject is shortly launched by the one who wrote the ”sticky”.
  3. Dot voting – Each participant is given three ”dots” to freely distribute amongst the subjects. On the digital board dots (.) (or higher *) may be added after the describing textual content. For convenance, it’s simpler if one or two assembly individuals do that on the identical time (to keep away from conflicts and confusion).
  4. Order the subjects – The subjects are ordered within the ”To Discuss”-column, most ”dots” comes first.
  5. Start to debate – The subject with essentially the most ”dots” is chosen to the ”Discussing”-column. It’s mentioned for 8 minutes (a timer is about).
  6. When time is up, individuals vote with their thumbs:
    – ”Thump up” – Continue to debate the subject for 3 extra minutes (then vote once more).
    – ”Thump aspect” – We can go on with this subject or take the following, it doesn’t matter for me.
    – ”Thump down” – This subject is mentioned sufficient and set to the ”Done”-column. Move on to the following.
    (Participants within the assembly room makes use of their bodily thumps, distant individuals can simply say what they’re voting, or paint a thumb on the shared display, that is attainable in Slack).
  7. Documentation – During the discussions the assembly moderator shall write feedback & actions within the digital Kanban board immediately, this info may be taken additional.
  8. When to finish – Discussion continues till assembly time or subjects are out. But what about assembly time ends earlier than all subjects are mentioned? Well, the workforce have voted and what they thought of crucial subjects are hopefully already sorted out. If not, name for a brand new assembly, or let the subjects keep within the ”To Discuss” column for subsequent retrospective (possibly it then will get the votes wanted to be mentioned, if not, effectively it’s not that necessary in spite of everything, the workforce has thought of).

After the retrospective assembly

If you (I assume you’re the assembly moderator 🙂 ) have performed your playing cards effectively, you don’t must do something afterwards! Actions are properly put within the ”Actions” column to take additional. For reference the subjects with detailed feedback may be transfered to a extra everlasting storing in a wiki or Confluence-page.


I hope you now have a technique to carry out democratic distant retrospectives! One factor to say, if the workforce isn’t used to this format, is to be a bit versatile with the timer and the thump voting. The timer may be seen a bit nerve-racking and limiting for the discussions. Usually you possibly can ”really feel” when a subject has been mentioned sufficient, then you possibly can go on to the following. That goes for the thump voting as effectively, You can ”see” the extent of engagement for a subject, and thereby know when it’s time to maneuver on.

if in case you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me. Good luck along with your future retrospectives!

All one of the best,
Tomas from TheAgileist


Privacy Settings

Source link