Template

Speedboat: an agile method for project retrospective

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SpeedBoat

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In-person
Remote
Reading time:
min(s).
Published on
6/11/2020
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The Speedboat template uses the boat analogy for a project retrospective, to draw up an action plan as a team to achieve all your goals.

An agile tool to improve teamwork and project management

The Speedboat template is basically a workshop used as a retrospective tool, as part of the agile Scrum methodology.

The agile Scrum methodology is used in product or feature development. It involves development cycles called sprints. It’s broken down into several steps, such as the Sprint Planning at the start of the cycle, or the sprint retrospective at the end of the cycle.

A retrospective is vital for continuous improvement in businesses. A team focuses on a specific topic (project update, interim review, process overhaul etc.), to take stock of what worked well and what needs to be improved, and identify further actions to move forward more efficiently. You can use the Speedboat template based on the boat analogy, or use the mode classic type of retrospective template in Klaxoon’s template library.

Your participants will be impressed by the visual management of the tool, which is particularly user-friendly. With Klaxoon's Board, an online whiteboard on which you can share any kind of information (text, photos, links to shared documents or websites, drawings etc.), you can be as agile as you want and do a Speedboat retrospective your way.

Gather your team around visual and interactive workshops with the Speedboat template.

Speedboat, the retrospective tool loved by companies

The Speedboat is an extremely fun and visual way of doing a retrospective. A retrospective is when a project team looks back at the project, or at a project stage, to identify areas for improvement.

This very easy to use, effective, clear and easy-to-understand method makes it easy for people to speak up. Based on the boat analogy, this retrospective method is vital to get a shared vision. Thanks to the potential of Klaxoon's interactive whiteboard, the Speedboat workshop becomes a playground where any team can jump on board!

This continuous improvement tool can be used whenever you want to improve teamwork on a project. For example, when your team has just finished a project stage and, before moving on to the next one, running a Speedboat retrospective can be a good idea. First of all, the participants need to list everything that has worked well, and then identify the stumbling blocks to try to resolve them.

How does it work?

On the Speedboat template, the boat represents the team, and the island to reach represents the team’s goals. At the top of the whiteboard, you see the sun. This represents the successes, things that are working well and that are positive. On the left, the wind represents everything that will be helping your team achieve its goals. And at the bottom, the boat’s anchor represents everything slowing the team down. You can also use the reef to represent the obstacles to be avoided.

Preparing and brainstorming for your Speedboat workshop as a team

You’re all set!

The Speedboat template is a fantastic colorful playground that will make this retrospective workshop good fun.

In yellow, write down everything related to successes, in the space where you can see the winds helping the team. In blue, add everything dealing with the goal, and in red everything annoying, and the problems to be resolved.

Depending on whether the participants know each other well or they work together regularly, you can start with an icebreaker (about how to create a sticky note or an idea). This helps people who are not familiar with Klaxoon to take get to grips with the whiteboard, and it will also act as energizer.

After inviting all your team members, you can start the retrospective, one category at a time. Don’t forget to use the timer at the top left hand side of your board to time 3 minutes per category.

Start with the goals, which are noted on the island. This group work is effective because the vision that emerges from this Speedboat is instantly shared by everyone. It's a dream that is shared by the whole team.

Every participant thinks about the same topic at the same time, so they can express their ideas first, before bouncing off those of others. In person or remotely, invite them to speak (using Klaxoon's Live tool) or write, and vice versa. Sharing things both writing and orally helps retain information better.

You can start with spoken discussions between participants with a facilitator, who takes notes on the whiteboard. Some people will only listen and not speak up, but, as they get inspired by the others, they will have an idea and will be able to reproduce it on the Board. The idea is to generate a rewarding, back-and-forth discussion, all without wasting any ideas.

Next, move on to the helpful winds. How are we going to get there? This is time to think about the onboard crew, the project governance and management and everything you have in the hold (resources, tools etc.).

You can then list everything that's slowing you down, the pebble in your shoe so to speak, both internally and externally. These are represented by the boat's anchor. Feel free to encourage your participants to fill out this category asynchronously if at all possible. This way, taboos and things that are usually left unsaid or practically never mentioned in person might finally be addressed, and help the team avoid false goals and pitfalls.

Be sure to play around with your whiteboard! You can move down, use more space, or change the structure by copying and pasting and spreading out the items. This space can be adapted to your way of working and to the group’s energy. This is the advantage of agile visual management.

Even if there's a facilitator, participants still have the opportunity to move the sticky notes themselves, which helps them to connect ideas and find new solutions more easily. Facilitators can also be identified in working sub-groups. The brainstorming session can then be jointly facilitated by several people.

How to reveal your project management and team action plan

Following this brainstorming session, ask participants to like their favorite ideas, reword them together and paste them into the “Action Plan” part. The aim is to generate ideas to resolve and/or anticipate project issues. They can suggest solutions to obstacles and link them with the connectors in the toolbar. You can also use the Questions tool to quiz other team members about a goal to be achieved or a problem to be resolved.

At the end of the workshop, you get a comprehensive action plan to move your project forward, with the aim of avoiding the identified bottlenecks and obstacles.

This tool can be used as a retrospective, at the end of a project or at the end of a stage. But it can also be used at the beginning of a project, to set out where the team wants to get, and anything that might prevent it from getting there. The action plan created this way can serve as a continuous improvement tool, and a planning tool too.

The benefits of Klaxoon's Speedboat template for teamwork

Thanks to the various written and spoken aspects of Klaxoon's whiteboard, you can adjust the facilitation style, which is very important for dynamizing the group through the session. For example, try to give the team just 3 minutes to fill out the whiteboard with their ideas, without starting a discussion beforehand. You might be surprised!

Depending on the duration of your project, you can also run a Speedboat workshop in several stages, including one or more asynchronous phases. The result will be from 15 to 20% more ideas suggested by the team! This helps to keep the topic hot: for example, some of the participants will bump into each other at work between two “sailing” sessions; they will carry on talking about it, and can come back to the template at any time to post an idea, a remark, an obstacle or an action! Between two sessions, the facilitator can of course ask the participants to come back to the Board, but the good thing is that there is no longer any need to have the right idea at the right time, when everyone is present (in a room together or remotely).

There is a big increase in collaboration and teamwork thanks to Speedboat. It makes it possible to identify the actions to be taken very quickly. Because the whiteboard is accessible all the time, you can work on it whenever you want. For example, every week you could think about a small action to be carried out for the following week. This way, you keep the cogs of continuous improvement running.

It’s up to you to steer your boat to your dream island!

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