Stig Efsen, Trifork Scrum coach, invented a new way to help teams move the continuous improvement ideas from retrospectives into real action. In an "Agile Retrospectives" workshop last January, he showed our workshop group how to use Planning Poker for a list of ideas for actions.

As part of the Generating Insights part of the retrospective, we created a list of proposed ideas for action. When the list was complete, we played a quick round of planning poker for each item. Stig used cards with Fibonacci sequence numbers. In a relatively short period of time, the team had a shared understanding and a set of task point estimates for each action item.

Since then, I've used the technique in a number of short retrospectives. Sometimes I've used Fibonacci numbers and sometimes I use T-shirt sizes. It depends on what the team is used to or what seems like the best fit.

Once the team decides on the action or experiment they want to try during the next iteration, the point estimates make it easier to write up a card and carry it into the iteration planning meeting. Then the team includes the action as part of the "real work" plan.