Action ItemsRetrospectives are about improvement. That improvement comes through action. If we look at the differing retrospective plans on the retrospective wiki, we'll notice that nearly all of them mention action items as an intended outcome of the plan.
Assuming the retrospective went well, the team has agreed action items. Now what?
Benefit, Action, Measurement, TimeframeAction items are great, but there needs to be more to it. You should be able to answer the following questions:
- Why are we doing this?
- What are we doing?
- How will we know?
- When will we see the benefits?
If you have agreed action items with no intended benefit and no means to validate the result, I suggest you reconsider the change. Changes always impact the team. Changes most often impact the team in multiple ways, some of which we cannot easily detect. I am not against change. Improvement cannot happen without it. Given our environment and systems are in a constant state of flux, change is necessary. But I do caution against change without purpose and measurement.
With not only action items, but clarity around them, we are ready to introduce Memory Lane.
Memory Lane is a simple technique to help teams remember their commitments.