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We conduct process meetings every three weeks where we look back at the last three weeks, discuss what is good and what not, and try to improve the situation all the time. Every now and then (after each major release) we take some time to reconsider a larger timespan in order to also tackle the bigger or underlying problems. In Confluence-land this is called Retrospective. We did one four months ago already, this is our second one.

A retrospective is more formal than a normal process meeting, but we try to keep it as simple as well. This time, the process was like this

  • Everyone could prepare history-, good-, bad-cards before the meeting.
  • History cards (yellow) were put onto the whiteboard quickly in two rounds
  • Everyone got to write a few good and bad-cards (green and red), then each one could put his top two onto the wall and explain them
  • We did two rounds of that, additional cards could be written during that time
  • Everyone wrote down 5 votes for each side on a piece of paper (or just took a mental note), and then the voting happened publicly by everyone at the same time. But since everyone had to decide first, the chances of cross-influencing others (donkey-voting) was minimized
  • We counted the votes, and discussed the top 4 good and top 7 bad. The rest will be looked at by Per soon, and then he decided is some more action should be taken.
  • We had the lunch break after the first two red cards, e.g. the collecting and voting and the first part of the discussion before lunch, the majority of the discussion after lunch. That way we didn't have all the discussion at once, which would have been quite exhausting.
  • Altogether we spent about 60 minutes on collecting, 40 minutes on the first part of the discussion, and then another 80 (or so) minutes on discussion after lunch.

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