End-of-Year Retrospective on Learning and Change

Photo by Roy Wangsa

Photo by Roy Wangsa

It's the end of the year, which makes it a perfect time to reflect and show gratitude, and I facilitated an organization-wide retrospective at a lunch and learn to do just that.  It's been a long year with a lot of hard work, and it feels like the benefits are becoming visible to all.

As a quick check-in, I asked the group to describe 2013 in one word, and to further set the stage, I followed their thoughts with a short summary of the organization's wins.  There was a lot of learning and growth that took place over the year, and it was worth exploring.  They broke into small groups and drew pictures of what it felt like to learn and change in 2013.  The creativity was great--an exploding brain, a juggler, a rainbow above blooming flowers and rainfall…. WOW.  This gathering of data and generating insights revealed that learning and changing had been difficult, but it had been worth it--YES!

As an agile coach, I felt obligated to ensure some valuable action came out of this retrospective even though the year is nearly over, so I asked the group: who helped you to learn and grow in 2013?  Each person wrote down names of individuals and then selected one person to thank by the end of the week.  We closed by talking about what people are excited about learning next and how to best use the lunch and learns in 2014.  It was an overwhelmingly positive session.

I've already seen some Thank You notes floating around the office, and I'm hopeful to see more over the next few days.

Allison Pollard

I help people discover their agile instincts and develop their coaching abilities. As an agile coach with Improving in Dallas, I enjoy mentoring others to become great Scrum Masters, coaching managers to grow teams that deliver amazing results, and fostering communities that provide sustainability for agile transformations. In my experience, applying agile methods improves delivery, strengthens relationships, and builds trust between business and IT. A big believer in the power of community-based learning, I grew the DFW Scrum user group significantly over the five years I served as an organizer. I am also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, a foodie, and proud glasses wearer.