Agile Retrospectives

Agile Retrospectives Most Things Work, Until They Don’t



Transcript of Agile Retrospectives

  • Agile Retrospectives Most Things Work, Until They Dont
  • Allison Pollard Agile coach and consultant Firm believer in continuous improvement DFW Scrum user group leader and Dallas Agile Leadership Network board member Glasses wearer
  • What is a Retrospective? Hint: its not a lessons learned or a post-mortem
  • Why have a Retrospective? At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly. --Agile Manifesto
  • Are your retrospectives missing something? Lack of participation
  • Retrospective Format
  • 1. Set the Stage Establish the focus for the retrospective Establish or re-purpose working agreements Set other concerns aside [for now] Engage team members early so they participate Photo by Alan Dayley
  • Providing a Safe Place for Sharing HELPFUL: Retrospective Prime Directive Regardless of what we discover, we understand and truly believe that everyone did the best job they could, given what they knew at the time, their skills and abilities, the resources available, and the situation at hand. --Norm Kerth NOT HELPFUL: Star Trek Prime Directive No identification of self or mission. No interference with the social development of said planet. No references to space or the fact that there are other worlds or civilizations. Image by James Vaughn
  • 2. Gather Data Created a shared pool of data Consider objective and subjective experience Value all perspectives Photo by David Laing Use different kinds of data to get the team thinking differently!
  • A Variation of What Worked/What Didnt Work Photo by Wayne D. Grant Let team members organize ideas and speak to their meaning. Ask open-ended questions to increase shared understanding.
  • 3. Generate Insights Understand systemic influences and root causes Observe patterns See system effects Photo by Jessica Austin Move beyond habitual thinking and solving symptoms!
  • Based on the data, what are the trends? You can only resolve a problem if you first recognize it. Photo by Matthew Badgley
  • 4. Decide What to Do Move from discussion to action Resolve on actions or experiments What does the team have the energy to try in the next sprint? Photo from
  • Focus on what the team can do Photo by FutureWorks Consulting
  • What is the outcome of a retrospective? Change in Definition of Done Photo by Rachel Davies
  • Change in Working Agreements Photo by Ctia Oliveira
  • List of Action Items Photo by Jean Claude Grosjean
  • 5. Close the Retrospective Reiterate actions and follow-up Appreciate contributors Identify ways to make the next retrospective better Remember to thank team members for their time. Photo by Karen Greaves
  • Photo by FutureWorks Consulting How did the team feel about the last sprint? How do they feel about the upcoming sprint?
  • What should the facilitator do? Read the room Swing the pendulum Make sure everyone contributes Make sure a plan is created Dont solve the teams problems
  • What is the Scrum Masters role? Reflect the teams behavior back to them so they can reason out how to improve Help team members hold themselves accountable to their commitments
  • What should team members do? Focus on the content of the retrospective Discuss openly, which means sometimes disagreeing with others (though not disagreeably) Make decisions
  • References reviews/sprint-retrospective-irrespective/ things-work-until-they-dont Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen
  • Contact Email: [email protected] Twitter: @allison_pollard Blog: