A program is a group of teams often working towards a shared initiative, deliverable or product line. Select existing teams to be a part of a program and all of the team’s members will be included in retrospectives at the program level.
Retrospectives help us focus on things we can change. Sometimes things outside the scope of the team need attention too. Teams can promote important cards from their retros to the program level retrospective to expand the conversation.
Teams lose hope when critical issues go unresolved for long periods of time. Hosting program retrospectives on a regular cadence will make sure that you are escalating issues and getting focus where it needs to be. Great opportunities for program retros are milestones like the completion of an Epic, MVP, or Agile Release Train.
Team retrospectives can feel a bit like living on a island. No matter how much you do to improve your island, the world around you still has a major impact on your quality of life. Program level retrospectives bring priority to issues that need outside attention.
Take time to reflect on how teams are working together. Promote cards with kudos or blockers for other teams to your program retro so feedback makes its way to members outside your team.
Teams that only operate in their sphere of control diminish the opportunity for transformational change. Big changes require the time and space to inspect and adapt at all levels. Program retrospective are a critical step towards enterprise agility.