Retrospective: One action item at a time

Doing agile and being agile are two different things. Doing the ceremonies and implementing only what is mentioned in the guides, might help you achieve certain things but for sure not the desired agility. Every single person in the organization needs to understand that the business agility does not depend only by doing the ceremonies and definitely does not depend only a team level.

Being agile means being ready to improve. Being agile means being ready to experiment, try new things and evaluate the results and take decisions. Decision making is essential in an agile environment and everyone needs to understand that in an agile environment, there are thousands of decisions that are taken on a daily basis because of the self-organization nature of the framework. These decisions affect the whole organization and eventually the organizational agility.

One of the most important ceremonies that we take decisions and empower the experimentation is the Retrospective. During that ceremony the Scrum team gathers together and share all the things that went well and the things that did not go well, during the last iteration and identify the areas that need improvement and take action items to improve. Scrum Master's role is essential as he/she needs to encourage the team members to be open and transparent and make sure everyone understand that during this ceremony they need to share his/her opinion and be open.

If you really want to make a change you need to take only one or two action items every Retrospective. You need to make sure that the team has a focus on what needs to be improved and if you take more than 1-2 action items the you lose focus. Have in mind that the change does not happen from one day to another. It takes time and you need to build the continuous change on solid ground.

Konstantinos Kareklas, Agile Coach