How to Deal With Distributed Agile Retrospectives

——   Created by Will Jeffrey

Agile Retro Part 6 of 6

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More about this course

Let’s face it: agile methodologies weren’t exactly created for remote teams. Early agile teams were overwhelmingly co-located in offices, mostly because video conferencing, chat, and other technology that makes remote work possible were laughably primitive and clunky at that time.

These days, with so many people working remotely, gathering your team in the same room isn’t realistic. That doesn’t mean remote retrospectives are impossible, however. They’re just a little bit different.

Meaningful inclusive retrospectives are possible with distributed teams.

Goals of this class

  • Understand the challenges with distributed retrospectives
  • Know how to facilitate distributed agile retrospectives

You will learn

  • What are the specific challenges of distributed retrospectives
  • Why building relationships is critical
  • Why you need to become an expert in all the communication tools
  • Why it is important to take cultural norms into account
  • How to handle different distributed groups
  • How to keep everyone engaged

The course project

Candy Love (remote version) 

For those unfamiliar with the activity, Candy Love is a team-building activity or icebreaker where you have a jar of coloured lollies — like M&Ms.

You pass the jar around and each team member has to remove a lolly from the jar. Depending on the colour they retrieve there will be a different question associated with that colour that they have to answer.

Obviously, when you are remote you won't be able to pass a jar of lollies around — and post COVID-19 I’m not too sure how thrilled many people would be on the idea. 

Which is why for remote teams I’ve generally used websites like WheelDecide to choose which question each person gets.

For the best effect, I generally have a mix of both work and non-work questions.

20 Lessons

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Distributed challenges
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A variety of forms
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Make the most of it
Focus first on building relationships
Use video cameras at all ends
People tokens in remote locations
Prevent remote people "going dark"
Faces for everyone
Use remote facilitators
Collect input before the meeting
Use online tools to share
Agree on a signaling system
Invest in a "technographer"
Run remote working groups
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Class benefits

  • Certificate of Completion
  • 14 day free trial
  • 24/7 streaming access
  • Project included
  • Teacher Q&A
  • 26m of on-demand video
  • Have a coupon?

About the instructor

Will has over 20 years of Software Development experience with his last 15 years in the role as Project Manager, Scrum Master and Agile Coach Master.

He managed or facilitated projects of different scale, project size from dozen man-days to hundred man-years.

He has trained & coached hundreds of professionals, …

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