Dealing with Failure is an application of FMEA, a design tool used to systematically analyze postulated failures and identify actions and verifications. It is appropriate for a target retrospective focused on a failure.

Running the activity:

  1. Explain the failure under analysis (summarize it on top of the canvas).
  2. Split the canvas into the following four areas: analysis, evaluation, action, verification.
    * Analysis: What is the failure? What led to it?
    * Evaluation: What are the consequences of this failure? What is its severity? What is the probability that it will happen again?
    * Action: What are the corrective and preventive actions (so it does not happen again) for this failure?
    * Verification: Given the listed actions, how can we verify their outcome?
  3. Split the team into smaller groups (two or three people each).
  4. For each of the four areas, give a few minutes for writing notes (smaller group), followed by a few minutes for a group conversation.

This is a very focused activity, looking only into one specific problem/failure and what the team should do to handle the consequences, work on corrective actions, and verify their result.


Remote-team advice: This activity works well for remote teams. Use a remote board of your choice.

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