Creating stories is the first important task of any Heartbeat Retrospective. Storytelling becomes more and more important in all discussions about knowledge management, but here we focus only on the stories the team will tell themselves about them.
Later we will see that one tool of a retrospective is the timeline. Some people believe the timeline has a purpose only for its own sake, but this is definitely not the case. It certainly does not! The timeline is a tool to create storys – that is all. Norman Kerth, Project Retrospectives, made it clear during the Retrospective Gathering 2008 that telling Stories is the key aspect of retrospectives.
Storytelling is on one side an art, on one side there are professional storytellers, like movie makers authors or real professional storytellers, who attract hundreds of people. On the other side Storytelling is a natural gift that everybody is able to use.
Humans have always told stories. Humans are good in telling stories. Humans have transfered their knowledge from generation to generation by telling stories. The most famous example being the Aborigines.
“Indigenous Australia’s oral tradition and religious values are based upon reverence for the land and a belief in this Dreamtime. The Dreaming is at once both the ancient time of creation and the present day reality of Dreaming. There were a great many different groups, each with their own individual culture, belief structure, and language. These cultures overlapped to a greater or lesser extent, and evolved over time. Major Ancestral spirits include the Rainbow Serpent, Baiame, and Bunjil. The Yowie and Bunyip are also well known Ancestral beings. One version of the Dreaming story runs as follows:
The whole world was asleep. Everything was quiet, nothing moved, nothing grew. The animals slept under the earth. One day the rainbow snake woke up and crawled to the surface of the earth. She pushed everything aside that was in her way. She wandered through the whole country and when she was tired she coiled up and slept. So she left her tracks. After she had been everywhere she went back and called the frogs. When they came out their tubby stomachs were full of water. The rainbow snake tickled them and the frogs laughed. The water poured out of their mouths and filled the tracks of the rainbow snake. That’s how rivers and lakes were created. Then grass and trees began to grow and the earth filled with life. (Wikipedia.org)
But how do we find the stories of our Scrum-(Project)-Team? A very simple way is to ask everybody to brainstorm for significant events in the last iteration (Sprint).
“A significant event is defined as an event that was so remarkable for yourself that you know it influenced your work life in the last iteration. It can be a private or business event. You decide what you want to share.”
More next week ….
Readinglist about Storytelling:
- A very good book that shows how Storytelling works: Ideas made to stick.
- The book that made storytelling famous in the business world: The Springboard, by Steve Denning