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World Retrospective Day 2021

Yesterday was World Retrospective Day. World Retrospective Day is a volunteer-based, globally coordinated effort to share in the power of retrospectives: World retrospective day started as an idea at the Retrospective Facilitators Gathering and has been going strong for the past 4 years.

I facilitated a virtual ‘table’ at the session hosted by Jo and Angie. The theme was Facilitating retrospectives in 2020 – stories, reflections, and new ideas. 2020 was a year of change for many of us. It was also a year of learning. We used a World Cafe style to explore these learnings by sharing stories, reflections, and new ideas on retrospectives for 2021.

Our ‘table’ discussions followed these themes:

  • Remote Facilitation: Remote facilitation quickly became an essential skill for Agilists. What new remote retrospective facilitation techniques did you try in 2020? What is your “go-to” tool to assist with remote retrospectives?
  • Unexpected Improvements: Yes, it was a challenging year. And there were some silver linings. What did you try that was pleasantly surprising in your retrospectives? What were things you were sure weren’t going to work, but did?
  • Racial and Gender Bias: There was a global awakening due to the worldwide Black Live Matter protests, and the Me Too movement. How did you facilitate issues related to inequity in your retrospectives?
  • Strong Emotions: Many people dealt with highly stressful and overwhelming challenges, leading to strong emotions (in others and ourselves). How did you help yourself and your team members process these strong emotions during retrospectives?
  • Recurring challenges and what you tried: There are some things we are still trying to work out. What are some of the persistent problems and nagging challenges you are still working through in your retrospectives? Bring them along and get some new perspectives!

I facilitated at the table focused on racial and gender bias. This was a difficult topic, even for me as a facilitator. Even though we’re all aware of racial and gender biases, it’s uncomfortable to talk about openly. I am so glad we’ve started talking about this as it’s only by talking about it that we can begin to address it.

Here is a link to the slides from our session. I also urge you to join this meetup New African Voices in Agile and support new speakers of colour.