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A Saint Patrick's Day Inspired Retrospective

plopcas profile image Pedro Lopez Originally published at retrolog.io on ・2 min read

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Saint Patrick's Day is around the corner. The 17th of March is celebrated in green and gold all around the world. I thought it might be fun to design a retrospective based on this festivity.

I use miro as a virtual whiteboard. It's a visual collaboration tool that makes it very easy for remote teams to share and organise ideas. Perfect for retrospectives!

If this is not your first retrospective, take 5 minutes to review actions for previous ones.

The layout

Divide the board in three sections like in the image below.

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The Trinity and the Shamrock

The first legend of Saint Patrick says he used a shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish back in the 5th century.

Let's use that analogy to discuss three fundamental areas that need to be considered by high performing teams, Technology, Processes and People.

  • Technology: which technologies are we using at the moment that help us achieve our goals? which tools and patterns?
  • Process: which processes help us be efficient and keep us on our toes?
  • People: take a moment to shout out any remarkable things your team mates did during the last iteration.

Give participants 5 minutes to write down as many notes as they can in each of the categories.Review notes and cluster similar topics to simplify the discussion later.

Banishing all the Snakes

The second legend of Saint Patrick says he banished all the snakes from the island, chasing them into the sea.

In this section participants should focus on all the things that are affecting team performance and should be “bannished into the sea”. Feel free to focus on similar areas than the ones above i.e. Technology, Process and People, but do not limit the list to those. For example, you might want to include incidents or events that happened in the last iteration.

Give participants 5 minutes to write down as many notes as they can in each of the categories.Review notes and cluster similar topics to simplify the discussion later.

The Walking Stick grows into a Tree

The third legend of Saint Patrick says he thrust his walking stick into the ground wherever he was evangelising, and at the place now known as Aspatria (ash of Patrick), the message of the dogma took so long to get through to the people there that the stick had taken root by the time he was ready to move on.

You will use this last section to capture actions that will help the team take root and grow.

Voting and discussion

Run a poll to identify the most relevant clusters. Discuss focusing on two aspects:

  • Situation: what's the reason behind the notes? what is the context?
  • Action: what can we do to leverage a strength even more or mitigate a recurring issue? How can we improve our tools and processes?

End the meeting by making sure each action has an owner. And if it's the end of the day, maybe go to the pub and grab a traditional Irish beverage. Cheers! 🍻

Discussion

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