So i'm not long back from a trip where I spent time working with our development team based in Singapore, we undertook a week long session with ThoughtWorks where they provide their 6 monthly Business Agility Review.
One of the first exercises we encountered was an exercise where we took two large sheets of paper and added the heading Anchors to one sheet and Propellers to the other, the development team were then given post-it notes and asked to provide examples of
Anchors: Things that are holding the team back and weighing down the development process, general negatives.
Propellers: Things that are propelling the team, increasing the productivity and agility, general positives.
Each of the team members gave their opinions and stuck them to either the anchor or propeller page.
Once all of the teams opinions were collected we did some groupings of similar suggestions and gave them general headings that encompassed the overall point. For example, we recently switched to Git as our source control system so several mentions of this were grouped under the heading of Git.
The result was some single post-it notes and some grouped post-it notes, the team was then given 3 votes per developer and asked to vote for the areas they feel were of the biggest impact.
At the end of the voting exercise we then took the 3 highest voted for points and did a dissection on what could be done to improve the anchors and ensure the propellers keep propelling.
In this instance the exercise was based over the last six months but it's certainly something that can be done by teams on a more regular basis, perhaps in addition to the regular sprint review techniques.
I'll certainly be bringing this in a fixed intervals to try and monitor the teams overall thoughts on process.