VI Company's retrospective: looking back to double down on improvement!

Kirsten Groenendijk
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When performed at the right intervals, a good dose of self-analysis can only propel you forward. That's why we have embraced the 'retrospective' at VI Company. Literally, a retrospective is 'a moment to look back on or deal with past events or situations.'

That's exactly why we always schedule it at the end of a sprint – usually after a product review. Together, we reflect on the sprint (which tends to take up 2 weeks) and focus on our collaboration and process so as to determine action points. Does that sound a bit abstract? Allow us to elaborate how you, our client, can benefit from our retrospective!

Retrospective: what's the use of reflecting on ‘things past?’

At VI Company, we've adopted an Agile way of working. Through the Scrum method, we build a product in an efficient way, adjusting it based on the feedback we receive along the way. Collaboration is key in this regard. If we spot the seeds of friction – either between team members or somewhere in the process – we want to settle things in the fastest and nicest possible way. Enter the retrospective, where we discuss what did and didn't go well in an open, constructive manner. Are there things we can do differently? Methods we should change? Tasks we need to pick up next? Everyone jots down the answers to such questions individually, after which we discuss them and distill concrete points for improvement for the next two weeks. These new actions are taken during the next sprint, so the team keeps getting better over time.

That's important to us, because we want to grow and improve as a team. To do so, we need to make sure we understand each other. The retrospective allows everyone to voice their opinion – the introverted among us, too. All team members are given sufficient room to talk about their concerns. The result: bottlenecks surface quickly, so potential conflicts and issues are solved before they grow into major problems. Because of the two-week intervals, action points tend to be small and manageable. Moreover, team members are more likely to support changes, as they are the ones who suggested them.

The retrospective's merit: moving forward at full throttle

As a client, how do you benefit from our retrospective? Well, a close-knit team performs much better than a loosely held-together group of people who refer to themselves as a team but don't really collaborate. And at VI Company, we like to take it up a notch: mere collaboration isn't enough. By discussing the way in which we work together – fostering things that work and improving things that don't work – we are very efficient, which our clients experience as a major advantage!

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