What was good ?! - Retrospectives in eduScrum

September 09, 2018

By: Alisa Stolze

No eduScrum without retro! But what does retro mean for eduScrummer?

Every sprint, i.e. every learning unit, ends with a retrospective: with an improvement-oriented review of the team's interaction. It is about the implementation of the technical content on the one hand and the personal development of the team members on the other. It is important to reflect on your own and teamwork, but also on working with the teacher and how the teacher, as part of the eduScrum team, can help the students achieve their own goals better.

Scrum is a role model, but eduScrum is a bit different

In the eduScrum logic, longer learning sprints are subdivided by shorter sprintjes in order to keep the learning progress together transparent. The need for content of the teams by the teacher as PO becomes visible in good time, team conflicts can be resolved faster or prevented immediately. After a very short (intermediate) sprint, a short review in the form of a pitch followed by a short retro is sometimes sufficient (5-10 minutes). This retro is primarily about collaboration, less about the personal development of team members.

After a final sprint of a longer series of lessons with several sprintjes, a longer retro is appropriate (approx. 30-45 minutes in the school context).

Even if the teams work together only moderately well or if you want to reinforce special values, a longer retro is worthwhile. Make the retros entertaining, strong, and interactive; especially let the team members talk to each other. The tone should be light and focused on room for improvement.

And now we ask what was good?

Also! Questions that you, as a teacher, want to clarify with the retrospective include:

· Will learning become more efficient and effective? Do the team and team members become aware of their learning style? · Are measures from review and retro implemented well? · Will obstacles quickly, effectively and efficiently resolved? · Are teams and workflow stable enough to learn from experience? · Are the technical results monitored? · Do the pupils pay attention to their personal development, possibly using checklists? · Is the process improvement possibly supported with a good list of questions? · Do the students independently develop tools to check that they meet your team agreements and quality criteria (ownership)? · Do the teams share their expertise? · Is the definition of fun (team agreements) realistic and clear? · Do the students have fun in the team & is there a good team spirit / a good working atmosphere? · Are teams focused on completing tasks, paying attention to their quality criteria (Celebration Criteria and Definition of Doing)? · Are these quality criteria clear and feasible? · Can teams actively seek answers without the teacher having to push? · Do the team members support each other? Do you leave your comfort zone? · Are the teams allowed to make mistakes, do they feel safe and can they trust themselves and the teacher? · Are you allowed to go beyond your limits and improvise? · Do the team members stand behind their product (goal, task) and do they take part? · Are the eduScrum roles filled out and do the roles work well? · Do the teams improve their teamwork? · Is the work done by all team members? · Do the teams work organically and is there complete transparency? · Are the teams well supported by their environment? · Are the teams really self-organized and self-steering enough to get ahead?

It's about collaboration Listen to your group, but also set clear boundaries. Which measures can you take, but which can the students or teams implement themselves? Find specific kaizen items, i.e. improvement measures, and check together during and after the next sprint whether you and your learners have implemented them and what the result was. These kaizen items can be agreed at team level but also at group level.

Do you always reflect on your retrospectives: do these improvements bring about teamwork, for the self-efficacy of the students, for your common eduScrum process? If the appointments from the retrospectives are implemented and adhered to, trust can increase within the team as well as in the team-teacher relationship. Trust is the basis for good eduScrum and always better team results.