Agile Mentors Podcast

Agile Mentors Podcast

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#58: Help! My Retrospectives Are Boring

July 26, 2023     18 minutes

Are your retrospectives boring? Join us on the latest episode of the Agile Mentors Podcast as Brian shares valuable insights on how to supercharge your retrospectives. Discover the three root causes behind boring or ineffective retrospectives and unlock tips to enhance their effectiveness.


Today on the Agile Mentors Podcast Brian Milner shares valuable insights on supercharging your retrospectives.

Listen in to discover the three root causes behind boring or ineffective retrospectives, plus Brian shares his tips on ways to enhance their effectiveness.

Tune in as Brian unveils some innovative ways to breathe new life into your retrospective themes while creating more meaningful connections within your team and fostering a deeper understanding of the bigger picture.

Listen Now to Discover:

[01:18] - On this last podcast episode for July, Brian offers insight into the three root causes behind uninteresting or ineffective retrospectives and tips to enhance and revitalize your retrospectives.
[01:58] - Are your retrospectives boring? To supercharge your retrospectives: don't just go through the motions; take ownership, connect the dots, and make things happen.
[02:45] - Scrum Guide Tip: to progress towards resolving the biggest issues, put action items from your current sprint into your next sprint's backlog.
[03:25] - You don't have to solve everything in one sprint.
[03:51] - Showing your team their recent successes can help with motivation.
[04:22] - How to make your retrospectives less boring. Boredom buster #1: make them effective—avoid repeating the same issues.
[04:43] - Boredom buster #2: transparency is vital in boosting collaboration and trust—create a safe space for open discussions (use anonymous voting to gauge team comfort).
[06:10] - Equal say for all (including Scrum Masters), how anonymity empowers everyone and leads to collaborative problem-solving.
[07:05] - How setup systems for topic submissions can keep your team from forgetting important issues. [07:36] - Make your retrospectives diverse: different perspectives bring fresh ideas.
[08:32] - This is your chance to be creative and invent your own themes to activate your team's brain in a different way.
[09:42] - Fun takeaway! Brian shares his one-of-a-kind idea for a unique retrospective theme you can use with your team.
[11:49] - Pop culture, the flavor of the day, or non-traditional, Brian shares some more ideas to liven up your retrospective.
[12:33] - Or try something completely different: discuss industry trends, company uniqueness, and personal highlights to connect to the bigger picture and deepen team connections.
[13:39] - How unleashing the human connection can lead to stronger bonds and better teamwork.
[15:40] - Why you should experiment with new ways to revive your retrospectives.
[16:48] - New guest episodes are coming up in August! Do you have an Agile subject you'd like us to discuss or a question that needs an answer? Share your thoughts with us here.
[16:51] - A message from our sponsor: Better User Stories, a one-day live online training course with Mike Cohn to improve your user story writing, so your team can do its best work, faster.
[17:22] - New guest episodes are coming up in August! Do you have an Agile subject you'd like us to discuss or a question that needs an answer? Share your thoughts with us here.

References and resources mentioned in the show:

Scrum Guides
Mountain Goat Software’s Better User Stories
Mountain Goat Software Certified Scrum and Agile Training Schedule
Join the Agile Mentors Community
Subscribe to the Agile Mentors Podcast on Apple Podcasts

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This episode’s presenters are:

Brian Milner is the SVP of coaching and training at Mountain Goat Software. He's passionate about making a difference in people's day-to-day work, influenced by his own experience of transitioning to Scrum and seeing improvements in work/life balance, honesty, respect, and the quality of work.