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I need to faciliate a retrospective for a bunch of product owners. I have a couple of ideas of how to run it but I would really like to get some input and ideas.

Each product owner who is attending currently works with a different development team but they also work together when it comes to prioritising and developing work before it gets divided up between the development teams.

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    What are you hoping to get out of the retrospective? There are a lot of great formats for retros and they each try to draw out different types of conversation. – Daniel Oct 22 '15 at 17:28
  • Here's a handy little reference that I have in my bookmarks for some inspiration on retro formats: retrospectivewiki.org/index.php?title=Retrospective_Plans . It's very much "horses for courses" depending on what you're wanting to get out of the retro. – mwan Oct 22 '15 at 22:59
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The challenge here is to find a topic that keeps all the parties interesting, therefore I'd focus on product owner best practices and common pitfalls and avoid everything that is related to specific team.

In the data gathering phase you can ask for X number of best practices they use, let them share with the group, group them into categories, vote on the categories, and discuss the top 3.

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An exercise that might be useful to do with product owners is a futurespective as this exercises starts from a common goals and looks for ways to reach it. It think it appeals to product owners.

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I think it all depends on the desired outcomes and the expected temperature of the session. Here are a few recommendations:

  1. Do it differently than how you do a retro with a full team. Anything can be retro'd, but standard retros with teams are different than what this sounds like.
  2. Find out how they feel about the overall output (quality and quantity), based on their experience. Do not attack with your own, listening is key. Based on the results, dig in to understand their experience and expectations. Set specific follow-ups to work towards shared expectations and understandings.
  3. Find out how they feel about the amount of time spent on planning vs throughout the iteration/sprint. If there was a lot of time spent with the team throughout, this is typically a sign of insufficient planning. If that's the case, was it due to a lack of diligence or potentially (dare I say) a lack of preparation going into it.
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Make them map their value stream. Worked very well. They identify issues, bottlenecks in their value stream.

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