Description of the workshop

Inspired by the legend of Christmas, the Christmas Retrospective was designed to make participants think from 3 angles. 

More specifically, participants are invited to express themselves on the following topics:

  • The Grinch: He wants to ruin Christmas! It illustrates the threats and dangers, what could have prevented us from delivering or receiving our gifts, and the irritants that annoyed us.
  • Santa Claus: Ho, ho, ho! It represents what made you a Santa Claus and the gifts you brought and/or received.
  • Rudolf: Santa's faithful first reindeer. It characterizes our engines, what pulled us forward, our allies, and what helped us deliver or receive our gifts.

How to run the Christmas Retrospective

Before starting the workshop, do not forget, if necessary, to review the actions undertaken during the previous retrospective. Also, at the beginning of the workshop, you can animate a Mood Canvas to measure the team's mood and, at the end of the workshop, measure the workshop's effectiveness using a ROTI.

The Christmas Retrospective takes place in 5 stages:

Step 1: Individual reflection

After the facilitator has presented the rules of the workshop, for 3 to 5 minutes, the participants are invited, each on their own, to write their ideas on sticky notes and place them on the canvas. It is essential to remind participants that there should only be one idea per sticky and that it should be written concisely.

Step 2: Presentation of the ideas

As part of a round table, each participant is invited to read their stickies and, if necessary, to explain the idea indicated to the other participants.

Step 3: Reorganization and selection of the ideas

The stickies should be grouped by theme or idea in each column to identify the possible emerging trends.

Then, the facilitator asks the team to select the theme or idea they want to explore first. To do this, you can use voting, for example, by granting 1 to 3 votes per person to be distributed among the different topics. The theme or idea with the most votes will be considered a priority.

Step 4: Proposal for improvement actions

Respecting an interval of 5 to 10 minutes, punctuated by a timer, participants are invited to discuss the first topic selected. The objective of the discussion is to define a concrete action that can be taken to improve the team organization, anchor a good practice, or solve an existing problem.

The defined action(s) should be achievable within a short time horizon, for example, "submit a support ticket regarding Max's access issues" or "create a recurring event in our calendar for our backlog refinement ceremony."

Once the timer has expired, the team decides whether they want to take the time to discuss the same subject again or deal with the next one.

The discussion lasts until there are approximately 15 minutes left in the time allotted for the workshop, or there is no more subject to be treated.

Step 5: Selection of improvement actions

Finally, the ideas for concrete actions defined previously are reviewed to select only between one and four. Focusing on the most impactful or urgent ideas to initiate change is best.

To foster accountability and team ownership, the team must take responsibility for carrying out initiatives themselves. For example, if a decision has been made to "create a support ticket," a team member must volunteer to create the ticket, track its completion, and update the team on its successful completion.