Personal Retrospective 2017

As this year is coming slowly to an end, I like to use this Sunday to experiment with a little personal Retrospective. We already did two good retros at work so I decided to one for myself.

Set the stage

As a method for setting the stage I use Check In-Questions

What do I expect to get out of this Retrospective?

Analyzing good and bad habits

Gather Data

Because I’m not really mad or sad about things happening this year I formulate the questions to: What do I want to

  • Do More
  • Do Less
  • Keep Doing

Here are my items

Do more

  • Exercise
  • Spend time with kids
  • Eat healthier
  • Reading

Do Less

  • Buying books
  • Social Media (FB, 9Gag)

Keep doing

  • Going to barcamps
  • Drink enough water
  • Budgeting with YNAB

Generate insights

As a method to generate insights I choose the 5 Whys.

Let’s start with the do Less list:

I buy so many books that I barely read them cover to cover.

  • Why do I buy so many books? – Because I enjoy reading
  • Why? – Because I like to know more about things
  • Why? – Because I want to have an knowledge advantage at work
  • Why? – Perhaps I fear a job loss
  • Why? – Times are tough in the automotive industry

Decide what to do

Smart goals

Regarding books I will restrict myself to buying one book per month.

Close the Retrospective

I drink a beer ?

Team Capability Matrix 

One of the many questions You hear as a team lead is: “Who can help me with <topic XYZ>?”

When your team is small you can easily say: “colleague A is expert on X, B on Y, and C on Z”.

But with increasing team size and number of topics you have to handle in your team it can be good idea to write down the capabilities and competencies of your team members.

Step 1 – Write down all of your team members

Easy. If You don’t know who is in your team, shame on You 🙂

Step 2 – Write down all tools and technologies You use in Your team

A bit harder. If You don’t know by heart who uses what, please interview your colleagues.

Step 3 – Combine the information in a table.

Use a simple scheme to tag knowledge

  • :mrgreen: – great knowledge
  • 🙂 – ok
  • 😳 – don’t know what it means

Write down the colleagues on one axis the tools and techs on the other.

[table id=1 /]

To transpose or to not transpose – that is the question

It doesn’t matter which info goes on which axis but in most cases you can say which number is higher: number of colleagues or the number of skills / tools / technologies used in the team. So put the longer list on the y-axis.

What can You get out of it?

When You have your Team Capability Matrix in place you can identify core knowledge areas -things everyone in the team has to know- and fill in the gaps with training and workshops.

Let’s say Tool X and Y are must have skills. So You would schedule training for Tool Y for A and C and training for X for B and C

You can even develop your team by asking your team mates in which areas they want to improve and schedule training accordingly.