How agile retrospectives can help boost employee productivity

11 April 2023 Consultancy.com.au 4 min. read
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A growing number of organisations in Australia are adopting an agile way of working, which – if implemented well – brings all kinds of benefits to the workplace, including more efficiency, flexibility, and a more satisfied workforce.

One of the key interventions in the agile methodology is the agile retrospective, a meeting that is held at the end of a two-week work cycle. The main purpose of the retrospective is to reflect on the previous cycle and identify areas of improvement for the next one.

During the retrospective, team members share their feedback on what worked well, what didn't work well, and what changes need to be made for the next cycle. The meeting provides a safe space for team members to express their opinions and concerns openly and helps the team to identify areas where they can improve their processes, communication, and teamwork.

Brendt Sheen, CEO and Founder, Codeheroes

According to Brendt Sheen, the chief executive and founder of Code Heroes (an app design and software development company from Brisbane), by continuously holding retrospectives, teams can make incremental improvements to their workflow and achieve their goals more efficiently.

“Our agile retrospective meetings have helped our employees feel safe, comfortable, and more productive as a team, as it has allowed them to express their feedback on how we can support them better as a workplace,” he said.

Based on his experiences gained at Code Heroes, which he founded in 2011, Sheen shares four ways how agile retrospectives can boost workplace productivity:

Continuous improvement

Agile retrospective enables teams to create a continuous environment for improvement, helping each staff member to reflect on past experiences and discuss future actions. Retrospectives can be done at a team level, project level or at the organisation level to improve the whole business.

By implementing agile retrospective meetings at different levels, businesses can cultivate a culture of continuous improvement, empowering team members to achieve and surpass goals. This approach leads to increased staff satisfaction, higher levels of productivity, and overall success for the organisation.

Team empowerment

With the tech industry facing massive layoffs and job insecurity, it is critical for businesses to prioritise employee satisfaction and create a supportive workplace culture. Agile retrospectives offer a valuable opportunity for teams to reflect on their past experiences, identify gaps and areas of improvement, and make informed decisions to improve future results.

In addition to promoting collaboration and communication among team members, agile retrospectives empower employees to take ownership of their choices and actions, creating a sense of accountability and responsibility. This approach also provides the freedom to make changes that align with the team's working style and processes.

Increased productivity

Agile retrospective meetings are not only a platform for team members to share feedback, but they can also significantly boost productivity. By allowing each team member to be open to different ideas, ways of working, and feedback, employees are empowered to develop new skills and knowledge that can enhance their performance.

Agile retrospectives encourage active engagement and interaction, leading to increased collaboration and improved communication. In addition to promoting collaboration and communication, agile retrospectives can help to identify areas where team members may be struggling, leading to targeted support and training opportunities. This approach can help staff members to develop new skills, overcome obstacles, and achieve their goals more effectively.

By improving individual performance, the team can work more cohesively and produce better results, leading to a more productive and successful workplace.

Increased value

Fostering a culture of continuous improvement in the workplace is crucial for individual and company growth. It allows every employee to contribute towards the development of the team, and by extension, the company. When teams constantly provide feedback, they can identify gaps in their processes, set achievable goals, and work collaboratively to enhance productivity.

Through this continuous conversation, employees can better align with the company's values, goals, and vision. As a result, customers and clients will notice the value you are bringing, resulting in higher satisfaction rates and customer loyalty.