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  • Writer's pictureMerrill B. Lamont III

Retro your Quarantine

Yo, Scrum Masters! If you're reading this soon after publication, then you've been Working From Home for a few weeks - in Boston, it's about 3 weeks, starting our fourth. If you're reading this much after publication, then this message is even more important.

Have you done a personal retrospective on your Living with Social Distancing? Yes, you read that correctly: not with a group, but just with yourself.

Do it.

You'll give yourself quiet space to take in what's happened, sitting with yourself in the swirl of emotion and memories and change. Who knows what will come out of that introspection session?

  • You might cry - this will release any emotion that's been pent up, which is healthy for you, and enables you to better empathize with your teammates going through this change in daily life.

  • You might finally accept - the Five Stages of Grief goes Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance, and moving along this path yourself better enables you to coach your teammates to adapt to this change in daily life.

  • You may discover Kaizen - if there's a lesson out of these few weeks that can potentially improve the new few, then you're taking the initiative instead of just reacting to this change in daily life.

  • You model Agility - part of our job is modeling behaviour we would like to see in the teams we serve, so particularly if it's one about your vulnerability, you can inspire your team as you share your retrospective experience from this change in daily life.

I've done it.

What came out of it?

  • I didn't cry - as I get older, I'm finding that crying is really hard for me, like in times of immediate sadness, or really easy for me, like when watching the end of Rocky.

  • I accepted - as an extrovert, I miss taking people out for coffee, being surrounded by the hubbub and smells and warmth and story sharing and experience of a cortado out of its Gibraltar rocks glass, yet while the pining for days of yore hits me in waves, I've mostly gotten on with it.

  • I've discovered Kaizen - from a fortnightly retrospective, I modify my system of habits in a gradual manner, and from a daily retrospective, I mentally sift through my day for lessons to make the next one a wee bit better.

  • I model Agility - I have a story to share with those around me.

And this blog post to share with you.


(Did you just go "awww"? 'Cause that's totally what I was going for. Anyway...)

Go make your own experience. Retro your quarantine. Inspire your team. This is one way you can be of service to others.

And to yourself.


(Did you just go "oooh"? 'Cause I found myself doing that. Anyway...)

Note that there are likely diminishing returns to increasing the frequency of conducting a retrospective, so as you experiment with folding Agility into your life, consider getting to done before starting a retrospective.

Definitely don't retrospect three times in the middle of writing a blog post.


(Did you just laugh? 'Cause I know I did. I think I'm hilarious. Anyway...)

(Man, this quarantining sucks. I gotta get out more...)

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