Superman in the Team? This Retrospective Method Will Save Your Day!

29 Jan 2019

Superman in the Team? This Retrospective Method Will Save Your Day!

Jan 29, 2019

One of the themes I love talking about the most is retrospectives, which I am sure my readers know by now. “Arto, you’re always going on about retrospectives!” Nevertheless, retrospectives are the best way to develop the team and the organization.

To efficiently organize a retrospective requires you to keep the team on their toes, unaware of what the next retrospective will be like. This is why the retrospective methods should be changed from time to time. 


Add to Your Retrospective Toolkit Regularly

These days, I often facilitate retrospectives for our customers, and I also tend to keep my eyes open for new methods to include in my own retrospective toolkit. A couple of months ago, as I was looking for better approaches, I stumbled upon an interesting retrospective method: the League of Extraordinary Shortsighted Agile Superleaders. When I learned about this retrospective method, it dawned on me: this is extremely important!


Microman or Impeditor, Which One Are You?

This superman retrospective features a list of different types of supermen. All of them are great in a certain way as they can deliver amazing results. However, each of them has a weakness, a flip side of their superpower. For example, the Microman types can manage a thousand tasks simultaneously, but they have a tendency to do everything by themselves without delegating tasks to others. That is why other team members learn to put their trust in the Microman in the same way as the Gotham City police put their trust in Batman. Another example is the Krisusavoidus, the person who can smooth over any conflict, but instead of actually solving the problem that led to the situation, they just make the conflict situation disappear.



As I was reading about these supermen archetypes, I realized that I myself might have acted like the Microman at times. And I cannot say that I have not come across these superheroes in my work as a coach. The superhero retrospective can be organized like this: the team members pick the types of superheroes they have in their team and then present them to other team members (hopefully in a kind way). The idea behind this is to give praise to someone else for being a superhero but also to think about how to avoid the kryptonite of each type of these superheroes.


This retrospective demands a lot from the team, but there are other options as well!

I have not yet had the courage to organize this retrospective (because, in a way, I am also a Krisusavoidus). I feel that this retrospective requires a good team spirit and a very safe environment. If the team members, especially in a team of superheroes, are easily offended, it might not be possible to organize this kind of a session with the whole team. In any case, I wanted to inform you about this method so that you could identify the superhero inside you. If you are a line manager and you have seen these superheroes in the team, you could consider the possibility of using these superhero cards in your performance reviews. If problems can be discussed, they can also be solved. This is also the basis of retrospectives: regularly raising and discussing painful areas improves the atmosphere. To freely paraphrase an 80s commercial, this simply forces the team to grow.


Facilitated Retrospectives, an Easy Start to Developing the Team

If you are not familiar with retrospectives, don’t just stand there! Invite me to help you: I would love to facilitate a retrospective session for you, be it a short (1h) or a long one (2-3h). (We recommend the longer session if your last retrospective was a long time ago or if you wish to analyze a longer period of time). This costs next to nothing, and it will help you to kickstart your regular retrospective sessions and enhance the performance of the team! Send us an e-mail, we will get your retrospectives going!

Arto Kiiskinen

Arto Kiiskinen

Senior Consultant

In his career, Arto has worked in product development as a Product Owner, Scrum Master and Product Development Manager. The operating methods of both large and small companies have become familiar. Arto loves to improve organizational learning and product owner know-how, and write blogs on different topics. Because retrospectives are one of Arto’s favorite topics, some of his customers have given him the nickname “Retroman”. During his free time, Arto tries to live healthy, buy as many cars as possible, rewatch the Star Gate series and study to become a Personal Trainer. Arto has also written the book “OWN IT – 8 Simple Secrets of Product Owner Success”

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