Boring retrospectives – part 4

The previous weeks have been quite busy and the result was that I couldn’t keep up with my goal to write at least one blog post a week.

Let me try to make it up.

This is a post in the series of ‘Boring Retrospectives’ where I try to share an interesting idea or exercise that can bring some variation into the meeting.

If you feel that your team is stuck in the same discussions over and over again, you might want to try brainwriting.

This technique has a bit of anonymity to it that often helps people to share their true feelings.

I often apply it like this:

  • When you have distilled a number of improvement areas, write each one of them on the top of an index card or large post it.
  • Then we hand one over to each team member.
  • For 2 minutes everyone reflects and writes down his personal thoughts on the index card.
  • When time’s up, we each hand over our index card to our neighbor and start again with the new one, over and over again until we have seen each improvement area.
  • Then, one at a time, we go over the post-its, and discuss as a group.

You ‘ll be amazed by how many different ideas are written onto the post it at the end.
Different views lead to different opinions, which in group are not always discussed.  By using brainwriting as a technique, you might discover new stuff to improve.


About Nick Oostvogels

Hi, I'm an independent management consultant. My biggest strengths are located in the fields of teamwork, motivation, leadership and continuous improvement. In the IT industry you find a lot of these values in the agile movement, in which I often act as a project leader, product owner or coach. My interests go a lot further, into other industries where we find these values in lean production. Besides that, I try to broaden my horizon as much as possible, always looking for better ways of doing business.


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