As a Scrum Master, I’m constantly on the lookout for ways to boost my team’s commitment and improve our processes. Today, I’m going to share with you a technique I’ve found particularly useful: the Speed Boat retrospective. Whether you call it Speedboat or Sailboat, this method is well worth exploring. Let’s find out why and how to use it.
As a Scrum Master, one of the greatest joys of my job is to see a team fully engaged in a retrospective, and the Speed Boat method is one of the most effective ways of achieving this. However, to make a success of it, good preparation and animation are necessary.
Duration and participants
Speedboat retrospectives generally last between 60 and 90 minutes, but this can vary depending on the size of the team and the number of topics to be discussed. As far as participants are concerned, the entire Scrum team must be present – developers, Scrum Master and Product Owner.
How does a retro Speed Boat work?
The animation of a Speed Boat retrospective follows a chronological structure. The team will tackle the various sections of the Speed Boat retrospective in thefollowing order:
1. The Boat: Your team is at the heart of this retrospective, the boat that sails towards the island, i.e. the goal.
2. The Island: The island is the goal to be achieved by your team, whether it’s the implementation of a new feature or the improvement of an existing process.
3. Wind: Each team has forces that propel it forward. These forces are your boat’s wind. It could be exceptional teamwork, specific technical skills, or something else.
4. The Anchor: Unfortunately, all teams encounter obstacles that hinder their progress. These obstacles are your boat’s anchor. These may be technical problems, internal conflicts, or other problems encountered during the last sprint.
5. The Reef / The Rocks: All teams must anticipate future challenges. These challenges are the rocks or reefs your boat must avoid to reach its goal.
6. The Postcard: This concludes the retrospective. The team has to think about what to do to avoid the reefs and free the anchor. The three most popular actions in the final dot vote will be prioritized for the next sprint.
Completing these sections in this chronological order enables the team to follow a logical and intuitive process, from identifying problems to implementing solutions.
Why Speed Boat?
The life of a Scrum Master is constantly focused oncontinuous improvement, and this also includes optimizing the way we carry out
our Scrum rituals
. And that’s where the Speed Boat, also known as Speedboat or Sailboat, comes in. This Scrum retrospective technique takes the form of an“innovation game“, transforming Sprint retrospectives from a simple analysis into a stimulating experience for the team.
But why should you consider adopting this method for your Scrum retrospectives? What distinguishes Speed Boat from a traditional retrospective such as Stop, Start & Continue?
One of the main reasons for choosing the Speedboat is its potential to mobilize collective intelligence. This brainstorming game encourages each team member to participate actively, enabling a fuller expression of viewpoints and a more precise identification of challenges and opportunities.
What’s more, the Speed Boat encourages deeper team involvement. It’s about more than just listing points for improvement, it’s about creating a shared vision of objectives, obstacles and levers for progress. As a result, the team is more involved in the results of the retrospective, and consequently in the continuous improvement process.
In addition, the Speed Boat is unique in that it facilitates the identification of past problems (the anchor) as well as future risks (the rocks), giving a more complete perspective from which to plan improvement actions.
In short, by opting for the Scrum Speed Boat retrospective model, you pave the way for increased collaboration, better understanding of challenges and opportunities, and ultimately, more efficient and successful Scrum projects.
Free Speed Boat hindsight templates on Miro and Klaxoon
Make it easy to set up your Speed Boat retrospective with free templates available online from Miro and Klaxoon.
Model #1: Sprint Speed Boat retrospective Miro template:
this Speed Boat template on Miro
to simplify the organization of your next retrospective. Click on the image to use this template on Miro :
Model no. 2: Another free Miro model from Speedboat Retrospective
This second Miro template introduces another section to your Speedboat retrospective: The Sun, which represents what the team appreciated, the actions or attitudes that deserve thanks from the team. It’s a moment that my teams really appreciate, because it’s an opportunity to congratulate colleagues who have helped us during a Sprint.
I don’t systematically add the Sun to my Sprint Speed Boat retrospective models. Because I find it overlaps with what’s discussed in the Wind section, which pushes the team forward.
Which icebreaker to suggest before a Speed Boat retrospective?
Before diving into the Speed Boat retrospective, there’s nothing like a good icebreaker to lighten the mood. I recently wrote an
article on summer icebreakers
which fit perfectly with the marine theme of this retrospective!
In conclusion, the Speed Boat retrospective is an excellent method for stimulating team commitment, revealing strengths, obstacles and opportunities, and creating an effective action plan for the next sprint. It takes a little preparation to set it up, but with the resources I’ve shared with you, you’ve got everything you need to get started.
So get ready to weigh anchor and sail towards more productive and interactive Scrum retrospectives. Good luck to you and your team!