Unlocking Effective Collaborative Problem Solving in your Retros


Collaborative Problem Solving in a Retrospective can unlock great potential from your team! But there are some requirements for such a session to be effective, and we can see the pattern in the Scrum Values! It starts with Courage. Each team member needs courage to share their experiences. This is especially true of their short-comings. Otherwise that information will not be available to the team.
Further the team needs focus on one shared goal! Without the goal, any solution proposed might go off in its own direction, rather than with the team.
The next element needed is Openness. Open to discussing today’s state in light of their shared experience, and the goal the team wants to seek. This can also mean taking the time to explore root-cause, not rushing to solutions.
After the open discussion, the next critical element is Respect. This applies especially of each member’s talents and shortcomings. Apply the basic respect that everyone on the team is a professional seeking the common goal. This allows the team to build a solution that best applies each member’s gifts. It’s not about lifting any individual up. Rather it is about getting the best contribution available, to get the best result for the team!
But as I have mentioned before even a solution applying the best strengths can come to naught. If the discussion doesn’t turn into change, nothing happens! So the last element is Commitment. The members need to commit to each other to apply the solution they have developed. That means changing their behaviors in the coming sprint. Applying the Scrum Values in facilitation can help your team unlock their next retrospective!

P.S. Special thanks to Matt Whitney for listening to me as I explored this idea aloud, prior to posting.