The Overall Retrospective is a new meeting in LeSS. Its purpose is to discuss cross-team, organizational and systemic problems within the organization.
Questions to explore
In an Overall Retrospective, the systemic and organizational issues explored are above the level of a single team. Topics that might be discussed in an Overall Retrospective are:
- How well are the teams working together?
- Are the Communities of Practice working?
- Is there something that a team did that should be shared?
- Are the teams learning together?
- Are teams close to customers?
- Are there systemic organizational issues that cause problems in how teams operate?
- Is the Product Owner doing well?
- Is the Product Owner maintaining his five relationships?
An Overall Retrospective is attended by the Product Owner, Scrum Masters, Team representatives, and managers (if any).
Conceptually, the Overall Retrospective occurs right after the team Retrospectives. Practically, this can pose a problem as the team Retrospectives are often at the end of the day at the end of a Sprint. Not only are people often exhausted, but they also don’t have time to continue with another Retrospective meeting.
The common way out of this is to have the Overall Retrospective at the beginning of the next Sprint.
An important tool for Overall Retrospectives is to use Cause-Effect Diagrams. Having the participants pick an issue and explore the different causes together in front of a whiteboard can lead to big insights and real, useful changes.