retro: courage to openness

Last post 05:46 am April 8, 2014
by Tony Hetherington
6 replies
07:37 am March 31, 2014


Does anybody know a retro activity to raise the openness in team ? So, that the team do not avoid their problems.



10:47 am March 31, 2014

Have you tried Root Cause Analysis, and the use of the "Five Why's"?

07:06 am April 1, 2014

Hi sambacket,
the most important thing here is trust. Think about how you can increase trust in the team. It is not easy however. Are there reasons for attendees not to trust each other? Hierarchies? Attendees who are not part of the team?
You need to create an environment for the retro where people are encouraged to share their thoughts openly.
I suggest to read Agile Retrospectives by Derby and Larsen, especially the part about "setting the stage".
Best, Ludwig

06:23 pm April 2, 2014

Just a suggestion, but you may want to try the Happiness Metric as your retrospective technique to see what the team members are really feeling:…

04:41 am April 3, 2014

I can agree with Mark S. above, I have found the happiness index to be very useful in getting a new or recalcitrant team to open up to each other about what can help them as a group.

10:36 am April 3, 2014

Is it in their DNA?
I mean is it country specific, people are different where ever you go, is a true case example.
Some Nordic and Scandanavian countries really have a problem with this, ie being open.
You can have their trust, but due to their nature its difficult to gauge things, this also applies to feedback.
Where as some people from other countries will not have that issue.
Is it a cultural thing or a mixed bag that find it difficult to contribute as a team?

05:46 am April 8, 2014

I don't think you can say that it is country specific, but there can be cultural barriers to to openness in the retrospective that can be challenging.

Having worked in Asia & Europe I have found the there can be an initial roadblock in retro openess in some Asian cultures that doesn't exist in Europe but the reverse is also true.

The are obstacles to openness in all environments and it is our job as a scrum master to find ways to help the team overcome them. Sometimes it can feel like we are banging our heads against a brick wall but something that seems insurmountable in early sprints can become something that is trivial later on. As with everything it takes time to inspect and adapt but the framework allows for this.