Let me introduce a Retrospective activity that will enable:
To put tension between team members on the table
And to detect perception gaps inside the team
But also to pat each other on the back if everything is fine 😉
Following the Retrospective format introduced in “Agile Retrospectives” and used for instance by Retromat then this activity is meant for the Gather Data phase.
This activity is rather simple, though a bit long.
The main idea is that the participants will compare how they perceive the relationships between each team members.
This activity is time-consuming because we’re going to check all relationships, with no exception. The number of relationships in the team growing exponentially with the number of team members. By example in the cover picture of this article the team is made of 7 members which translates into 21 relationships.
Everybody thinks about it in private
The activity starts by working in private. Each participant will fill in two sheets.
The participant marks his name in the center of the first sheet, and must describe each of the relationships between her and the other team members.
The participant is missing from the latter sheet, and this time must describe how he sees the relationships between each of the other team members.
When possible, please try to get the blank pages ready before the Retrospective to avoid wasting time.
Why using two sheets?
First to make room on these sheets, since they will clutter up pretty quickly 😛
And then because these two sheets fits how this data will be debriefed in the next part of the activity — in two phases!
Sharing and summing results
Once everybody is done, we move on to sharing. The idea is to aggregate everybody’s results but above all to detect perception gaps.
The facilitator will take one by one each of the relationships in the team, and will make a graph of the relationships between all team members. To this end she fills two different sheets:
On the first sheet she will mark if the relationships are doing OK or not, as stated by the participants of this relationship
While on the latter sheet she will mark whether there is a perception gap between the participants of this relationship and the other team members
In order to get this information, the facilitator will ask these two questions:
Talking to the two participants of the relationship: how do you describe your relationship?
Talking to the other participants: how do you see this relationship?