For my Agile brothers and sisters (and my family), this story should make your day. On my Twitter profile, I state that I am “Scrumming” my way through life. This is a perfect example.
A sprint retrospective – for the uninitiated – is a recap of the good and bad of the most recently completed development cycle. It’s a great way to utilize the three core principles of Scrum: transparency, inspect, and adapt.
So my three year old asks me everyday how my day at work was. At first, I didn’t know what to say so I responded with a line from Pinky and the Brain, “the same thing I do every day…try and take over the world. Lately, that answer has lost its efficacy and I have been struggling with what to say. When I told her I had meetings, she wanted to know what I did in a meeting. Just so happens we wrapped up a sprint that day and had review and retrospective.
I told her that we talked in our meetings. “We talked about what we can continue, stop and start doing to make our work better,” I offered. She wanted to know more. I explained it thusly:
Me: What can you continue doing?
Her: Being sweet.
What can you stop doing?
Her: Being rude.
Me: What can you start doing?
Her: Saying please!
The best part was when I came home from work this week, my wife informed me that my daughter had a “meeting talk” with her cousin (who is the same age). Apparently, they weren’t playing nice with toys so my bright little angel sat her cousin down and told her they should continue sharing toys and stop taking them without asking first.
My jaw hit the floor.
Just goes to show that the principles we spend so much time and money implementing at the office aren’t that hard. It just takes a desire to work together towards a common goal. Next time your team is giving you a hard time about inspecting and adapting, tell them this story. If two three-year-old girls can have a productive retrospective, so can they.