Do your team love to complain about their never-ending to-do list? Do they humble-brag about their super full diary? Do they always seem to be sacrificing the important for the urgent? This retrospective is perfect for teams that need to take a step back and apply some lean thinking to their priorities and time management.Most Agile teams will utilise a Kanban board of some sort to visualise and prioritise all tasks at hand. An experienced Agile team will ensure all work is first refined and then prioritised by the product owner before it gets tackled by the team, and they know how to use estimation via story points to ensure their planned work is congruent with their velocity (Click here for our 3 step guide to understanding story points).So why do these teams still experience Tetris-like diaries, lack of focus on the truly beneficial initiatives, or at worst – stress and burnout?There’s always ‘fat’ around our day-to-day working lives. Things that fill our time, divert our attention or detract from our sense of clarity on the things that matter.This retrospective activity will help the team uncover where they’re spending, investing or wasting time (Ts/Ti/Tw) - then give them the opportunity to adjust the balance.
Ts | Time Spent"Do all of these truly add value right here and now?""Can any of these be optimised/automated for even greater time efficiency?""Who do these add the most value to?"Ti | Time Invested"If I actioned these today, how would my life look different in the future?""Is there anything else I should be making time for?""Do I give these actions the time they deserve?""Do I have a clear priority order on these based on the value they will add, and how quickly that will be realised?"Tw | Time Wasted"If these add no value to my life or my goals, what am I believing or assuming that means I continue to waste time on them?""How could I handle that so that I can stop wasting time here?""If these do have the opportunity to add value, how can I rework these so that they become Ts or Ti rather than Tw?"
As outlined in the final step, the takeaways here are the small handful of actions that will make the biggest difference in the quality of how we use our time. You could summarise this to the team in the following question:“Are these actions going to add more value to my life or to the success of the team, now or in the near future, in the same amount of time or less?”Enjoyed this retrospective? It is also available in our signature comic strip style for easy reading and sharing. View and download the pdf here.