During a sprint retro, the beginning of a two-week sprint seems like a distant past. Why not do micro retros for instant feedback? Micro retro let you seek feedback (and to make improvements) on unfamiliar tasks or things you do only once a while.
For example. Your team complains that your backlog grooming / sprint planning took way too long and wasted everyone’s time. As an action item to improve it, in the next sprint you meet with your stakeholder to workout some requirements / use cases / user stories first before going to the next planning meeting. After the meeting, ask, was the meeting worth everyone’s time? Did people got what they need out of the meeting? Is it addressing the original problem?
Micro retro is to ask for feedback. Micro retro is not providing unsolicited advice.
Early on in my marriage, there was this exchange between me and my wife Jing; we were discussing what we are going to buy when we go get groceries:
dk: Let’s get some veggie and meat?
Jing: // appears to be in deep thought
dk: What’s on your mind?
Jing: I am thinking about what to cook tonight
dk: Chicken, pork, and beef, pick two?
Jing: // continue to be in deep thought
Later on during the same day, I asked Jing to help me understand what’s going through her head during that conversation. I explained to her that to me, it is just a matter of buying whatever and then cook whatever and there is not much to consider. She then explained that she was figuring out which part of the chicken / pork / beef to buy. Is it going to be chicken wings? Chicken breasts? Drumsticks? No wonder she became unresponsive as she iterates through each ingredient and each recipe!!
dk: Would it have been a much easier decision if I narrowed down your choices by asking you to pick from chicken, pork, and beef, and buy the stuff that’s on sale?
Jing: Oh yeah, definitely.
Micro retro. Improve how you work with people. Try it!