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A Great Retrospective

Today is planning day for our largest team. After an interesting Sprint Review in the lab, we retired to the larger training room for the Sprint Retrospective.

The feel in the room was largely up-beat but had some unspoken tension. I shifted gears quickly to start different than planned. I asked that we go around the room and each member give two statments:

  • Give one word that summarizes this sprint for you.
  • Describe your passion about this sprint, team, project or company.

The one-word summaries were balanced between words like “progress” or “satisfaction” and “frustrated” or “bottleneck.” (Ah, the tension comes out.) This was reasonable given that not all the stories were completed this sprint.

The passion statements were great! They ranged from love of creating new technology to the joy of shipping actual product.  We all learned interesting things about each other.

And the tension was over. Just like that, it was time to dig deeper into the sprint with clear heads and a forward view established as a great foundation for the meeting.

Personal Trill

My personal moment of happiness came during the expressions of passion. Two engineers spoke of the team’s effectiveness in powerful terms. To paraphrase:

The is the most productive team I have ever worked with in my entire career.

I didn’t think I would ever enjoy working on a team larger than 3 or 4 people, but this experience shows otherwise.

What a great team to work with!

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