Session: Team Work Makes the Dream Work: Implementing Blameless Retrospective Practice in Research Teams (Society for Social Work and Research 25th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Social Change)

All live presentations are in Eastern time zone.

209 Team Work Makes the Dream Work: Implementing Blameless Retrospective Practice in Research Teams

Friday, January 22, 2021: 1:15 PM-2:15 PM
Cluster: Organizations & Management
Juliana Carlson, PhD, University of Kansas, Becci Akin, PhD, University of Kansas, Nancy Kepple, PhD, University of Kansas and Linda Chimwemwe G. Banda, MSW, University of Kansas
Research teams work together to accomplish the overall goal of conducting research. How they functionally conduct their work depends on many factors, including roles within the team (e.g., graduate research assistants, faculty members), the lead researcher's or Principal Investigator's leadership style, and the team culture. While social work research teams may have an advantage when grounded in social work professional values and ethics, a good team culture is not a foregone conclusion. Moreover, an awareness of factors impacting research team culture is particularly salient in social work research teams because of our professional values such as social justice and competence. However, strategies to develop and foster effective research teams are not standard training in doctoral programs or faculty professional development. In addition, faced with research productivity pressures, team leads may prioritize efficiency over team process and functionality. Therefore, social work research teams looking for team focused strategies can find resources in agile development within the technology field, where teams of developers and programmers work to break down silos and improve team functioning. One such strategy is the blameless retrospective, a structured practice involving a question-based team review of defined work period or rollout that assesses the team's collective work.

This roundtable will bring the practice of blameless retrospective to life based on the multi-year experience of implementing blameless retrospective practice as a core strategy by a research team working on the Quality Improvement Center on Domestic Violence in Child Welfare (QIC-DVCW). Four members of the research team will facilitate the roundtable.

At the start of the roundtable, participants will be asked to reflect on their best research team experience. Following this discussion, the first team member presenter will share a brief overview of the practice of blameless retrospectives within teams. Highlights will include a limited history of blameless retrospectives within agile development approach to team work and what is meant by blameless as it pertains to retrospectives. The second team member presenter will share three examples of blameless retrospectives, including the most fundamental, which is the three question example (i.e., what went well, what did not go well, what could be done differently in the future). This presentation of examples will include both the content and process, with attention to how to conduct them in person or remotely. The third team member presenter will share in depth stories of the research team blameless retrospective practice in four QIC-DVCW project teams: (1) the whole research team, (2) smaller research team groups, (3) project management team, and (4) with project site teams (e.g., technical assistance teams, project manager teams). This presenter will share lessons from the team's experience for participants considering the uptake of blameless retrospectives, including descriptions of significant successes and challenges, and key ingredients for good blameless retrospectives. The fourth team member presenter will lead participants in a hands-on exercise to illustrate the blameless retrospective, including content and process, for research teams. In closing, the presenters will field questions and facilitate discussion with the roundtable participants on blameless retrospective practice.

See more of: Roundtables