An ESVP retrospective is a little different to other retrospectives, in that rather than talking about the last sprint, you will be focusing on retrospectives themselves. It is a chance for the team to discuss how they feel about retrospectives. What do they learn from retrospectives?

The first step in running an ESVP sprint retrospective is to ask team members to write down their feelings about the retrospective on a sticky note. There are four categories or roles to choose from: Explorer, Shopper, Vacationer, and Prisoner.

What the roles mean

Explorers are excited to be in the retrospective and eager to discover and learn new things.

Shoppers are happy to be in the retrospective and open to learning new things.

Vacationers are glad to be away from their desks and happy to have a break from their usual work.

Prisoners do not like being in the retrospective and feel like it is a punishment to have to be there.

Example of a flipchart layout, for each of the ESVP categories. Simply then stick each post it to the chart in the correct zone.

After team members have written down their feelings and marked an E, S, V, or P on the sticky note, the facilitator should collect the notes and mark the results on a flip chart. It is important to keep the results anonymous and throw the sticky notes away after the retrospective.

Based on the results of the ESVP sticky note exercise, the facilitator should discuss the following

If the majority of team members are explorers or shoppers, the facilitator should encourage an open and curious atmosphere in the retrospective. This may involve asking questions to stimulate discussion and encourage team members to share their ideas and insights.

If there are a significant number of vacationers, the facilitator should consider ways to make the retrospective more engaging and interactive. This may involve incorporating activities or exercises that encourage participation and collaboration.

If there are a large number of prisoners, the facilitator should address any negative feelings and try to create a more positive and productive atmosphere. This may involve asking team members to share their concerns and finding ways to address any issues that are causing frustration. The facilitator should also consider ways to make the retrospective more valuable and meaningful for team members. This may involve setting clear goals and objectives for the retrospective or finding ways to apply the insights and lessons learned to future work.

Overall, the facilitator should aim to create a safe and supportive environment in the retrospective where team members feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas. By addressing any negative feelings and finding ways to make the retrospective more engaging and productive, the facilitator can help the team get the most out of the retrospective.

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