Better Retrospectives - Happiness Histogram

Effectiveness of retrospectives is still important topic for me because i don’t always see that people come out after retro with good action plan. As I was writing previously here retrospectives are very important for agile teams. They help us to look back and find ways for improvement…

Main struggle for a Scrum Master is to make people talk. We noticed that the approach described in my previous post will not necessarily lead to a discussion with good action plan (at least in our case). People sometimes complain that they have no ideas 🙂 IMHO, it happens because we are just sometimes lazy…
That’s why Scrum Masters in our teams started to look for better/additional approaches of facilitating retrospectives.

And we found it - Happiness Histogram. We selected following topics:

  • Teamwork
  • Team Performance
  • !Noise
  • Meeting yearly targets/roadmap
  • Communication with other teams
  • Internal communication

We use histograms in addition to previously described method. Workflow is the following:

  1. Team members fill in histogram with their results
  2. Team discusses results and tries to understand trends of overall mood in the team
  3. After that team continues a retrospective with previously selected approach. But they are full of ideas now 🙂

Why do I think these two approaches work better together:

  • Histograms allow people to relax and express their feelings in numbers about certain topics
  • Good approach to remember global goals and see how we approach them
  • After good initial conversation it is easier to sit down and come up with actions for Start, Stop and Continue …
  • Combining things rocks! You will never get bored…