Newspaper Headline Retrospective
I had an idea after reading a line in Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins. It was related to sprint planning and having the team pick a headline for the sprint – like a sprint theme. I thought it would be a good retrospective idea to have the team write headlines about the highs and lows of their sprint. Here’s how to facilitate the activity:
Give every team member a piece of 11″ x 17″ or legal size paper and spread colored markers out over the table. Instruct the team to write a couple headlines reflecting on the last sprint. I wrote a front page of the paper with the title, the sprint dates, and the successful stories that were committed to and finished during the sprint. For remote teams, this could be done digitally using Word or PowerPoint or even SMART Boards etc.
Encourage the team to write some shout-outs either on their pages or on the front page to fellow team members about their contributions during the sprint and how they made a difference. Also think about including a self-improvement/opinion page to discuss more about things that could be improved for the next sprint.
Timebox their creative time to 15 minutes. After the first 15 minutes of page creation, have the team share their pages and headlines with everyone else. Timebox this sharing to 3 minutes for each team member, depending on the amount of time available and team size.
Our results were great! The team had some seriously thoughtful and some very humorous headlines. They drew pictures, made advertisements, and were extremely creative! As they were sharing, I took note of trends between their headlines. They also put great thought into shout-outs for their fellow team members and everyone clapped between the sharing of pages.
It ended up being a wonderful activity and the team really loved it. What I like about it is that it’s different than just going through likes and dislikes. It allowed the team a chance to really own it and get their feelings out in a different way. It also gave us something tangible that we can go back to in a few sprints and reflect on further. The headlines made for some great discussion and meaningful retrospective thoughts. Thanks for the great idea, Lyssa!