Many companies, including my own, develop their own culture by taking a little of this and that to form together what works for them. Giving employees the opportunity to survey and contribute what they feel works can be incredibly empowering. When leadership acts on those suggestions, there is even more pep in all our steps.
This is why the sprint retrospective might be the single-most important ceremony in Scrum.
There are a handful of teams working on various projects in my building right now. Some conduct one week sprints, others two or three. Some feel that Fibonacci point sizing is key, others use T-shirt sizes. Whatever works, right?
Question is, how do you know? Enter the retrospective.
The three pillars of Scrum are: transparency, inspect and adapt. The first can be demonstrated by leaders and followed up on by the rest. The last can be acted upon easily once you know what went well and what didn’t. The inspect aspect is the glue that holds the other two in place.
Being willing to regularly ask yourself what you could have done to make past work better is what separates average performance from a step above. You deliver honest and open criticism that can identify what would truly make you happy with your work.
We talk all the time at Bottle Rocket about the experience. Not just of our award-winning apps, but every single aspect of what we do. From the way chairs are arranged after a meeting, the service we provide visiting clients, to even the door stops, we fret over every detail to make working and visiting our office something to experience.
The same applies to your team’s effort sprint after sprint.
When you apply that attention to detail and ask everyone in the room to help co-make not just your intended product output but the culture of your team, great things happen.