Speed Boat Retrospective: The Complete Guide to Boosting Your Scrum Team

In my journey as a Scrum Master, elevating team engagement and optimizing our processes has always been at the forefront of my agenda. I’m thrilled to share insights into a dynamic technique that’s reshaped our approach: the Speed Boat retrospective. Also known as the Speedboat or Sailboat, this innovative method offers a wealth of advantages for team dynamics, deserving a deep dive into its concept and practical application.

Nothing compares to the satisfaction of seeing a team deeply engaged in a retrospective, and the Speed Boat template is a key player in fostering this involvement. However, the success of this method is deeply rooted in detailed preparation and dynamic facilitation.

Duration and Participants

Speedboat retrospectives typically run from 60 to 90 minutes, adjusting for the team’s size and discussion depth. It’s essential to involve the entire Scrum team—developers, the Scrum Master, and the Product Owner, ensuring a broad spectrum of perspectives and contributions.

The Mechanics of a Speed Boat Retro

The facilitation of a Speed Boat retrospective is structured chronologically, guiding the team through distinct phases:

  1. The Boat: Symbolizing the team, the boat represents the collective effort navigating towards a goal or milestone.

  2. The Island: This is the team’s objective, such as rolling out a new feature or enhancing a process.

  3. Wind: The propelling forces, like exceptional teamwork or specialized skills, that drive the team’s progress.

  4. The Anchor: These are the obstacles or issues that hinder momentum, ranging from technical glitches to interpersonal conflicts.

  5. The Reef / The Rocks: Future challenges that could impede the journey, requiring strategic navigation to avoid.

  6. The Postcard: Concluding the retrospective, the team reflects on strategies to circumvent potential hurdles and release any anchors. The top three actions, determined through dot voting, become priorities for the next sprint.

This sequential approach facilitates a logical flow from problem identification to solution implementation.

Example PDF and Image of Online Speed Boat Retrospective Model

Why Opt for Speed Boat?

The role of a Scrum Master is intrinsically linked to continuous improvement, encompassing the enhancement of our Scrum rituals. Enter the Speed Boat (or Speedboat, Sailboat) methodology, an “innovation game” that elevates Sprint retrospectives beyond mere analysis to an engaging, team-centric experience.

Why should this method be a go-to for your Scrum retrospectives, and how does it stand out from traditional models like Stop, Start, & Continue?

A key advantage of the Speedboat approach lies in its potential to mobilize collective intelligence. This interactive game prompts every team member to actively participate, fostering a rich exchange of ideas and enabling a nuanced understanding of both challenges and opportunities.

Moreover, the Speed Boat model deepens team engagement by not only identifying areas for improvement but also crafting a shared vision of goals, obstacles, and drivers of progress. This collective insight heightens the team’s commitment to the outcomes of the retrospective and, by extension, the ongoing process of improvement.

Additionally, the Speed Boat offers a unique perspective by addressing past challenges (the anchor) alongside anticipated future hurdles (the rocks). This dual focus equips teams with a comprehensive outlook for devising effective strategies for advancement.

In essence, adopting the Scrum Speed Boat retrospective model catalyzes enhanced collaboration, improved insight into challenges and opportunities, leading to more effective and triumphant Scrum endeavors.

Free Speed Boat Retrospective Templates on Miro and Klaxoon

Simplify your next Speed Boat retrospective with free templates from Miro and Klaxoon, facilitating an organized and engaging session.

Model No. 1: Speed Boat Retrospective Miro template:

This template on Miro streamlines your retrospective setup, fostering an interactive discussion platform.

Model No. 2: Another Free Miro Model from Speedboat Retrospective

This second Miro template brings an additional element to the Speedboat retrospective called “The Sun.” This part focuses on what the team found valuable, highlighting actions or attitudes that merited recognition. It’s a segment my teams have found particularly beneficial, as it offers a chance to express gratitude and acknowledge the contributions of colleagues during a Sprint.

However, I don’t always incorporate “The Sun” into every Sprint Speed Boat retrospective I conduct. The main reason is its thematic overlap with “The Wind” section, which is also about driving forces behind the team’s progress. While “The Sun” is about appreciation, its essence can sometimes mirror the motivational aspects already captured in “The Wind.”

Model No. 3: Klaxoon Template:

Klaxoon also provides an intriguing and complimentary template for a more agile retrospective, enriching the process with varied perspectives.

Icebreakers for Speed Boat Retrospectives

Kicking off with an icebreaker can set a positive tone. Consider exploring summer-themed icebreakers, which align well with the maritime theme of this retrospective.

Conclusion

The Speed Boat retrospective is a formidable technique for fostering team commitment, unveiling strengths and areas for growth, and devising a robust action plan for future sprints. While it demands some setup effort, the resources shared here equip you with everything needed for a smooth sail.

Embark on this journey towards more productive and engaging Scrum retrospectives. Best wishes to you and your team as you navigate towards enhanced collaboration and success!

Speed Boat Retrospective in Action: Scrum Team Efficiency During Sprint End on a Physical or Online Whiteboard

Cette publication est également disponible en : French

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Ahmed BEN SALEM

Strongly involved in Agile methodologies, I have held the roles of Scrum Master, Product Owner and Release Train Engineer for SAFe, Scrum and DevOps projects. My approach focuses on people and stakeholder collaboration, creating environments conducive to innovation and performance.

Since 2016, I have successfully led several Agile software development projects for companies of all sizes, including Odigo, Orange and PSA. My solid experience in Agile methodologies, in particular Scrum and SAFe, has enabled me to work with multicultural teams from countries such as the USA, India, Vietnam and Morocco.

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