Using ‘Critical Uncertainties’ as Retrospective format

Use the Liberating Structure ‘Critical Uncertainties‘ to grow the self-organizing capabilities of the Scrum Team by having them think of the most critical and uncertain realities they might face. Check this article for detailed instructions and examples.

  • (2 min) Explain the overall purpose of Critical Uncertainties: identifying and exploring the most critical and uncertain “realities” and formulate strategies that will help you become successful in these different situations.
  • (5 min) Invite the Scrum Team to make a list of uncertainties they face;
  • (5 min) Ask them to prioritize the most critical factors;
  • (5 min) Select the two most critical and most uncertain (X and Y).
  • (3 min) Give them a large flip chart and ask them to create a grid with two axes — X & Y — with two extremes of <– → for the factor to be represented on each axis.
  • (5 min) Now that they’ve created four potential scenarios, invite them to explore each scenario and discover what each would look like. What behaviour might you observe? What would people say? Encourage them to define these as “markers” they can use to determine which scenario they are in if they would “time travel” to that future. Write down some examples for every scenario;
  • (5 min) Invite the Scrum Team to give each quadrant a name that captures the essence of each scenario. This could be a movie title (e.g. ‘Love Boat’, ‘Endgame’), a book (e.g. ‘The Road’), a quote (e.g. ‘Shoot from the hip’) or something else that immediately captures the essence of that quadrant;
  • (5 min) Invite them to think about which strategies could help in these scenarios;
  • (5 min) Invite the Scrum Team to reflect on which scenario they currently are in and determine a 15% Solution for the strategy you defined.

As stolen from The Liberators Newsletter 😉

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