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Leadership Retrospective

Last post 05:50 pm June 4, 2023 by Joseph Abayomi Ajayi
7 replies
11:58 pm June 2, 2023

Just curious to know if anyone has facilitated a Leadership Retro. Just need some context as I was asked if I could facilitate one in our organisation.  Any ideas from the house?

06:17 am June 3, 2023

The context is certainly important. Is it Servant Leadership that is being opened for inspection?

11:27 am June 3, 2023

Hi Ian, we have some internal challenges within the Agile space. A contract was signed in a Waterfall, and we are delivering in Agile which is creating a lot of confusion and stress for the developers given drop dates have been given to the client. Senior management do not really care so much about Agile ways of working as long as stuffs are delivered.

They want SM to be cracking the whip thus, we want to have a Retro to understand what exactly the leaders want so expectations can be set. We also want to know their internal restrictors i.e what is hindering them that they did themselves and that which is outside their control. They are managers while the Scrum team are self-organizing, we want their perspective on how they have been able to relate to this. These are some of the contexts. 

12:10 pm June 3, 2023

It's unlikely you can have a meaningful Retrospective of any sort when people do not really care. What you could have, potentially, is a facilitated workshop in which the opinions of participants diverge and then converge. Drop the word Retrospective, as it is reducing transparency. It is being misused as a sugar term to make things sound more agile than they are.

03:31 pm June 3, 2023

I agree with @Ian.  What you described doesn't sound like a retrospective. It sounds more like a workshop where you are trying to educate them about Scrum and how they can participate in a way that helps. I've had to hold those workshops before. You can use examples of past behavior as a basis for discussion but if you use the term retrospective it will probably make their opinion of Scrum even more skewed. 

04:03 pm June 3, 2023

@Ian and @Daniel, thank you. Your points are noted and has been taken on board. 

04:08 pm June 3, 2023

Based on this situation, where dates and scope are fixed, what challenges and potential pitfalls can you make transparent to the leadership team?

  • Impact on Team morale?
  • Poor quality because corners must be cut to meet deadlines?
  • Technical debt is starting to rage out of control to meet deadlines?
  • Even though the scope is fixed, are requests still being made to change the Product Backlog without changing the date?
  • Team's inability to self manage and be creative?

05:50 pm June 4, 2023

@Chris Thank you.

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