Agile Retrospectives: Benefits for teamwork

Agile retrospectives is a pivotal ceremony in Scrum teams. Retrospectives allow members to go back and check the way they have been performing and determine the changes they need, and the things that keep going fine with the current performance. Agile Retrospectives can be very important for all teams not just because it allows constant improvement, because has demonstrated to create a better teamwork performance.

We can define teamwork is present when: A small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, set of performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable. (Source)

Teamwork is a very beneficial value that allows our teams to develop a culture of trust and belonging. Agile retrospectives can be a serious trigger in this value.

Agile Retrospectives: Benefits for teamwork (Source)

Benefits:

Agile retrospectives allow us to be aware of our own work

As we know, Retrospectives are for introspection, but not just about our own performance. It helps us to determine if the team is making their best or if they are having the same troubles on and on. Once that you give this perfect time to your members to introspect their current performance, we became more conscient about the way we are working, and if it is helping or affecting our results.

At the same time it helps us to evaluate why some actions aren't working. Members can express their own viewpoint and help other teammates to understand why some things need to be in a different way. Members helping each other for sure will help you to increase teamwork and improve decision making.

Agile teams are self-managed, which gives them the capability to decide when they need to work on every feature or when to change their way of working. Retrospectives are easier when the members suggest the changes and get going with more structured ideas and being more aware of their own work.

If you have some trouble with groupthink check out our tool that allows you to enter as many ideas as your team has at the same time avoiding groupthink. (How to do agile retrospectives in Jira or Confluence)

Agile Retrospectives allow the product owner/ top management involvement

Sometimes problems arise in product backlog or prioritization, which most of the time is the product owner's responsibility. The retrospective's magic is that the product owner can be integrated into this meeting and help both the team and the PO to understand why they are having planning troubles. Having all the team looking for the solution and opening up about their ideas can help to further integrate the team with the PO that usually stays out of these meetings. Allow all the members to gather even those known as “superiors” can give us a good opportunity to create the closest teamwork feeling.

Having a “superior” level involved with the team not just help teams to find solutions together. Members can find support from the organizational level, which will help to ensure the solution implementation. In other scenarios where the product owner is not involved in the process, it can make it more difficult to understand the team’s proposals, ending in solutions not implemented.

Double-loop learning/ climate for openness/ learn to learn

Equally important to foster teamwork in our team through retrospectives, is the capability that members develop for self-learning and learn to learn.

With Retrospectives, members learn the facts that influence the effects and the nature of this influence. As agile retrospectives help us to understand current problems. It is about using the problems that the team has experienced to understand their underlying causes and then to take some action to remedy these causes. (Source)

Creating an environment for openness and changing decisions members improve the way they reflect on issues and learning together.

Retrospectives help teams to be more self-managed

As we know agile teams are usually self-managed which allows the team to change their work according to sudden situations. When members understand which are the problems and how the team is going to approach them, self-managing is easier, and finding a solution can be a lot more efficient because members understand the team’s necessities.

With Agile Retrospectives for Jira, you can assign all the activities that the teams agreed to complete in the current retrospective, making it easier to follow-up on the results of a retrospective.

Retrospectives increase effective decision-making

Giving all members the opportunity to express the problems they found during the sprint is not just beneficial because the team can find a new solution. It is beneficial because you are fostering decision-making in your team. Effective decision making is attainable if members have the correct information and all the viewpoints, which happened during the retrospective.

When members can deeply understand the problem, finding an accurate solution is easier. Also, it has its own results because members are encouraged to be involved in team problems and help each other.

Shared Leadership:

Sometimes members decide to not express problems because they perceive them as their own and never arrive at the team’s concern. Retrospectives allow members to feel confident expressing their problems and at the same time to participate in finding a solution for other members. More informed teams and more options to find new solutions are the results that retrospectives have for shared-leadership.

Also, giving accurate information to the team can help us to find a solution from people who has the correct skill to make decisions in specific areas. It is better to change the leadership for those who know better about that. Shared leadership can help the team to ensure teamwork looking for solutions in members who can be more humble in determined areas.

Agile retrospectives improve the culture of trust.

As members are encouraged to find more solutions together and express their ideas, it is easier to feel the team’s support. Many times teams have trouble expressing their opinion because they want to avoid interpersonal conflicts, when the teamwork has been fostering due to retrospectives the trust can increase, thus avoiding these conflicts.

Image: openness and the ability to discuss the underlying problems is one of the most important prerequisites for software process improvement and organizational learning.

Team Orientation

Team orientation or collective orientation is often described as giving priority to team goals over individual goals (source). When the team can be aware of the problem, the daily process, and it is part of decision making which can be achievable with retrospectives and Daily standups, members can become more responsible about the team’s necessities and onboard them as part of their own accountability.

Redundancy:

In psychologically oriented small-group research the concept of redundancy is often described as backup behavior. If the backup is to occur effectively, teammates need to be informed of each others' work in order to identify what type of assistance is required at a particular time. That is what happens during retrospectives (Source)

Retrospective can help us to find the team’s support to make decisions and changes and at the same time find help from teammates increasing the culture of trust and ensuring the team feels safe talking about their problems.

Agile retrospectives can help our team in a lot of ways. This ceremony can help us to ensure the team is understanding their process and looking for improvement. In the same way, it can help teams to increase the teamwork and the support that members can offer to them.

Teamwork is essential to increase engagement and collaboration, with agile Retrospectives is easier to gather the team and make them feel supported and free to express their opinions.
Check out how to do an Agile Retrospectives in Jira or Confluence. Perfect to ensure teamwork and continuous improvement.

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