Tuesday, 25 June 2013

The "Bubble Up" Approach to Scaling Retrospectives

One of the many initiatives I am really passionate about within our EDW Release Train is the commitment of my extended leadership team to continuous improvement. However, we have had some challenges identifying the right targets to improve! Instinctively it didn't seem like something that would be that hard. Surely if the train teams were experiencing pain in their every day work, they would tell us - or so I thought!

I was under the impression we had broken down the communication barriers in our program wide retro a few months into our first attempt at scaling agile. On that occasion, our coach facilitated two hour sessions with each of the agile teams, consolidated the feedback, and worked through it with the program leadership. This retro was a significant turning point in our program. It brought to the surface a number of pain points impacting multiple teams, and started the thought process that lead to the formation of our Agile Release Train and our System Team. As it turned out, while this moment was significant, we had not advanced as far as I thought we had.