What is a safety check?
The safety check is typically carried out at the start of a retrospective. It enables the facilitator to gauge how safe the participants feel in sharing their opinions and getting involved in the discussion. It is an important tool to make a judgement call on whether or not the retrospective should continue. A low safety check indicates that participants aren’t comfortable sharing their thoughts, which means they can’t expect any really value from continuing with the retrospective. It also indicates that there are more pressing issues that the team needs to address before continuing.
Participants submit anonymous votes between 1 and 5 to show how safe they feel (where 1 means they are not at all comfortable and 5 means they are completely open to share). The facilitator then looks at the votes before deciding if the retrospective should continue. This is usually all done using post-its, but we thought we’d change things up a bit!
What we’ve done
We’ve created an app! In it’s first release, Agile Retro Safety Check allows teams to hold a safety check with participants anonymously submitting their scores on a shared device. In the future, users will be able submit votes on their own devices, and facilitators will be able to monitor trends in safety scores.