I was given the task this week with my development team I work with to run the sprint retrospective. A retro is something that is done at the end of a sprint (agile two weeks of work) where everyone reflects on the past two weeks and gives feedback. The idea is to come up with a set of action points and learning from the sprint in order to improve through time.
I came up with the idea of the ‘Retro tea time’ by originally just thinking about it as a time to have a bit of a tea break and reflect on the past two weeks. The idea was to use the cup of tea as a metaphor for the sprint/project. The idea was using different elements that affect ‘a perfect cup of tea’.
A cup of tea is made up of different things – a mug, a tea bag (including the water) and milk and or sugar. The other factors are heat needed to keep it nice and warm and cooling, who wants a cold cup of tea?
The different elements represent:
Tea bag (and water) – The integrity and consistency (Are we still following the road map / vision?)
– The tea bag represents what we are working on. Have we cut corners? Is the work what we set out today? Have we lost or gained anything during the sprint in terms of the final product?
Mug – Team work (scale score)
– Rather than typically scoring ‘how we thought this sprint went’ I decided that a teamwork score would work. Just like the mug the team work itself is was keeps everything together. The score would be 10 being the best and 1 being the worst.
Milk and Sugar – More of / Less of
– Just like milk and sugar when it comes to a perfect cup of tea, these are the variables items that can vary from person to person. In this case, as a team what do we need to do more of and what do we need to do less of?
Heat – What’s kept us going?
– A perfect cup of tea needs the right amount of heat. In metaphor sense the heat represents the good things we have done.
Cool – What’s going wrong?
– Tea is supposed to be warm, so we don’t want a cold cup of tea. The cool represents those things that people have thought haven’t gone too well.
There is overlap in some of these categories i.e. something that we should do less of could also come under things that aren’t going to well. The point of this metaphor is to more highlight different areas in order for conversation and collaboration of actions and improvements can be facilitated.
All you need to do is print out this page and get everyone to write on some post-it notes to fill up the categories. Going through the post-it notes afterwards in order to create conversation and get together a list of actions.