Scrumming Man

Plan, Sprint, Show, Repeat

Tag: scrum

The 4 H Retrospective – Hero, Help, Happy, Hope

I recently tried a new retro format with the team i am currently working with, i called it the 4 H’s retro. Now i won’t try and claim for a minute this is anything groundbreaking or new as it borrows heavily from the 4 L’s expect i wanted to come at things from a slightly different perspective. The team i work with currently had recently done a review of our sprint ceremonies and one thing that was mentioned was that we focused on the negative stuff too much/too quickly. I therefore wanted to move away from the 4 L’s to some more positive themed categories and came up with the following:

  • Hero – Who was your hero in the last sprint/iteration? Who went above and beyond for the team?
  • Help – Looking back what help do you wish you had during the last sprint? What impact would it have had?
  • Happy – What was the one thing that made you go home to friends or family saying you’d had a great day at work?
  • Hope – What is the one thing you hope for in the next sprint/iteration that you or team don’t currently have?

To prepare for the retro i prepared 4 different coloured cards with the 4 H’s on each one along with a sharpie. We did this retro at a team breakfast to try something different so using post-it notes was fine. I gave the team 3 minutes to write down their thoughts for each section with a brief 3-5 mins discussion about each area afterwards. Each team member was encouraged to read them out aloud to the team.

After this we split the team into 3 groups of 3 and based on what we’d heard throughout the retro they were tasked with coming up with the most important action they could take forward. We then discussed the actions and refined them to make sure they were clear and achievable.

It seemed to work really well and the discussion that was generated was certainly of a different tone than our previous retro’s, although maybe the breakfast was the real reason everyone was happy (it was very good!)


Scrum master handovers

My main stream of work is as a contract scrum master which means i tend to spend varying amount of times with clients and teams. Most of these usually involve some kind of handover from or to a new scrum master at some point. In fact just this week I have started a handover with one of the teams I currently work with to a fellow scrum master who is a permie where my current contract is as i start to work with a brand new team. This got me thinking as to what does or doesn’t help when it comes to handovers and whether there are any areas I could improve on.

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What is the best day to start a sprint?

Like with many answers to questions relating to Scrum the answer is “there is no right answer”. Numerous factors can dictate what is best for a team but this will change from team to team.

In my personal experience I’ve found that starting on a Wednesday is best. Why? Well first of all being based in the UK there are a few bank holidays on Monday through the year and I find that starting on a Monday and having to shift quite a few around is far from ideal. I’ve also found that devs (and humans in general!) don’t like Monday mornings and sprint planning is a vital part of the SCRUM process and have found that not having team members fully engaged (regardless of the date and time you do it) is a recipe for a sprint to not succeed.

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