Safety check

[((/dotclear/public/./.ballot-box_t.jpg|Ballot Box|L|Ballot Box, juil 2009))|/dotclear/public/ballot-box.jpg]Another important ground rule is that participation in all activities during a retrospective is optional. Some people can feel uncomfortable or exposed in group discussions and it’s important not to exacerbate this if you want them to contribute at all. When a team do their first few retrospectives, it’s a useful to run a “Safety Check” to get a sense of who feels comfortable talking. To do this run an anonymous ballot, ask each person to indicate how likely they are to talk in the retrospective by writing a number on slips of paper using a scale 1 to 5 (where 1 indicates “No way will I share my point of view” and 5 “Completely comfortable to talk openly”) – the facilitator collects these slips of paper in, tallies the votes and posts them on a flipchart in the room. The purpose of doing this is for the participants to recognise that there are different confidence levels in the room and for the facilitator to assess what format to use for subsequent discussions. Where confidence of individuals is low, it can be effective to ask people to work in small groups and to include more activities where people can post written comments anonymously.

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