July 2, 2012
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Lying in the bath I pondered what I was going to write here – whether to even bother updating after the last blog post. But this is my blog on my wins and losses – and maybe it will help someone out there…
For the last 8 weeks I have been practising my exercise and diet routine really well. Even when travelling. But in the last week it went to hell. I ate takeout almost every day, have done NO exercise for 7 days. We were losing weight every week. We were loving exercising and making it easily for 4 days and occasionally 5 days a week. And then BANG. Actually there was no bang, nothing catastrophic. No big news. No flu or colds.
So lying in the bath I wondered “What the hell happened?”
Our big race is in 1 weeks time. We were on track to run it. So the short term goal post hadn’t shifted. Every Saturday we have our review. Thats still happening - but not as in depth as it was in the first 5. We were doing a fitness test and weighing in and measuring … the last 3 have just been weigh ins. Our Sprint Planning, which happens on Sundays, still happened but had become more of a “same as last week” than a conscientious planning session. So things like training & being away from home were not thought through enough and caused minor issues.
But in my bath time root cause thinking, it boiled down to one thing. We stopped retrospecting. We had 2 retrospectives and then never again. Not enough time. No immediate added benefit. Seemed like overkill. I know this stuff. blah blah blah.
And that is why we ground to a halt.
Retrospective are like vitamins. You don’t see a need right now, but they prevent flu from knocking you out. If we had been retrospecting we would have noticed the signs sooner. We would have mixed up our routine. Made more time to do activities with friends. Possibly rested more. We would have noticed how not planning properly was derailing us. Instead we noticed the small changes but didnt notice them piling up like dead weight and slowly dragging us to the bottom of the lake. We stopped inspecting and adapting. We didn’t notice the things we were doing well so that we could keep doing them. We didn’t take on small actions to improve over time.
I realised 2 important things tonight.
- The value of retrospectives in preventing complacency.
- The value of taking time to get to the root cause of a problem.
Now I need to get my butt back into gear!
(oh – and the value of having a scrum master not in the team, to keep you honest and doing the above! )