This Agile Coaching Tool consists of 7 retrospective smell cards. Each card provides a description of the retrospective smell and a list of antidotes to deal with it.
These cards can be used to prevent or eliminate retrospective anti-patterns.
Successful Sprint Retrospectives
On January 17 I attended the meetup Successful Sprint Retrospectives which was hosted by Xebia in Amsterdam. One of the things that this meetup explored were problems that can happen in agile retrospectives. And there were many!
Some of the problems that came up were fingerpointing, lack of communication, nobody daring to speak up, and apathetic non-participation. Looking at these problems I recognized agile retrospective smells, signals that something might be going wrong in your retrospective that you as a facilitator needs to deal with to keep the retrospective valuable.
In my workshops, I teach how to recognize smells and deal with them using an Agile Coaching Tool that I developed: the Agile Retrospective Smells Cards. This tool has helped many people to solve problems in their retrospectives.
At the end of the meetup, the organizers asked all attendees to come up with one action that they would do within a month to make retrospectives better. I promised that I would make the Agile Retrospective Smells Cards available so that facilitators all over the world can use them. And I did: The Agile Retrospective Smells Cards have been published on February 12 :-).
Recognize and Deal with Retrospective Smells
The Agile Retrospective Smells Cards are a tool for Scrum masters, agile coaches, and anyone who facilitates agile retrospectives to uncover smells and solve problems or mitigate their impact. These cards can be used together with the Agile Retrospective Bingo, a game to recognize unproductive behavior. And there’s my best-selling book which provides you with many exercises to spice up your agile retrospective:
If you want Agile Retrospectives where there’s no blaming, passiveness, or groupthink, where attendees feel safe to speak up, where people work together full of energy and focus to come up with actions that are getting done, the Agile Retrospective Smells Cards are there for you to make this possible!