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Luke Hohmann - How To Conduct Large Distributed Team Retrospectives


Summary: This session presents a new approach to conducting enterprise retrospectives that overcomes the limitations of traditional models

Learning Objectives: Understand why traditional retrospectives fail to meet the needs of large teams

Understand why conducting retrospectives too frequently harms teams

Develop tools and processes for scaling retrospectives


  • Content rating (0-no new ideas, 5 - a new ideas/approach, 9-new ideas): 8
  • Style rating (0-average presentstion, 5 - my level, 9-I learned something about presenting): 5

Action / Learning

  • tell others about this
  • consider this instead of the next survey for opinions



What is the acceptance criteria of the presentation

Timezones Objections to cost Fun Creative Culture differentiation Full team engagement

Applicable if at 5 plus teams Need to scale all of our practices

Planning event with people in person is like planning a wedding Size of group has big effect

Web site How to run huge retrospectives

Go to -


Exercise - retrospecting retrospectives + - what's working Delta - what want to change 5 mins

Exercise - Retrospective outcomes / impact Graph over time Augment chart with specific changes 4 mins

Four stages of retrospectives Early adoption Team maturation Organizational limits Why bother?

Early New shared transactional memory systems Understand how each other works

Organizational limits We've handle our crap We've handled the easy stuff

At end of every sprint Means we reinforce that behavior that we can't take on organization

Exercise - design challenge 30 teams in three locations Constraint - no budget to fly everyone

Patterns Hold 3 ~ 100 people retrospectives Meta - retro

Hold team retro for team Rollup Rollup

Pair share between teams

24 hour window to enter information to central place

Send representative to place

It's the best we can do?

Are we having the impact we want

3M is the secret funder of all things agile

Single team retrospectives

Collaboration is hard large teams We mistake communication for collaboration (new video tool is a communication tool)

Games are about collaboration Goals Constraints Rules Voluntary participation Fun - which leads to engagement

Idea engine

Speedboat online - cloud form

Last 6 months or last release

We identify the teams and facilitators

Anchor - impediment Propellor - good stuff Placement is how good / bad

Individual retrospectives for each team As this is our organizational structure What the team feels it is for us Behind the scenes I can look across all the results

Download the results

Look at from categories People Process Tools/technologies

Scope of control - Diane Larsen Team controls - direct action Team influences - The soup

Positivity bias

Let activity run for about an hour

Propellers We should do this We could do this

Look for patterns

Clusters of coded anchors People, technology, process Team, pod, product, enterprise

Dream log - what PO wants Product backlog - what will get Black log - what teams does because PO isn't doing job

Now develop the projects to address impediments

Running retrospective too frequently as need to deal with the results

Share results Good through scrum masters

2-3 weeks to plan out (get facilitators up to pace on each team, collect approach, design theme, metaphor to engage - not just speedboat, do a play test) Game play 1 week (but about an hour for scrum team) Post processing - 2-3 weeks

Only use chat as it neutralizes cultural differences.

/home/hpsamios/ · Last modified: 2020/06/02 14:21 by