Improving and Extending Agile Retrospective Outcomes
Over the past ten years, software development teams using Agile approaches to work have adopted retrospective meetings as a critical practice for learning and continuous improvement. To the extent that practitioners say, “If you’re not holding iteration retrospectives, you’re not doing Agile.”
Agile retrospectives at the end of each iteration or work increment set aside time for the team to examine feedback from current conditions and develop targeted tactics to keep the project on track. Many practitioners experience retrospectives as great means for detecting good, poor, and missing practices; as a handle to make tacit knowledge about effective practices explicit; and to define improvement actions in order to deal with ineffective or inefficient technical, process, and teamwork practices.
However, too many teams and practitioners don’t reap the benefits that effective retrospective meetings can provide. Too many retrospective meetings receive cursory or inadequate facilitation. Too many retrospective meetings are held to “check the box” on the project management template, rather than to focus on real improvements. For too many teams, the action plans coming out of retrospectives are never implemented or revisited. Too many teams seek to shift blame and responsibility for action through the retrospective.
In too many organizations, retrospective meetings don’t deliver the promised return on time invested (ROTI).
In this session, you’ll learn how to get the most from your retrospective practices. Diana Larsen, co-author of Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great, will introduce you to a simple framework for getting better outcomes from retrospective meetings, suggest ways to maintain the relevance of improvement to the work of your team, and provide tips and pointers to get great returns from the time your teams devote to every meeting.
Outline/Structure of the Workshop
1. Introductions & Background (brief lecture)
2. Why Agile Retrospectives? (intro lecture and whole group discussion)
3. Frameworks and Models (intro lecture and table group discussion with report outs)
4. Setting Conditions for Learning
5. Building Team Support for Outcomes
6. Building Organizational Support for Outcomes
7. Next Steps
During this workshop, participants will:
Discuss and explore different ways to conduct retrospectives
Examine which models will work well for their teams
Develop plans for building support for retrospective actions and outcomes
Practice setting conditions for team learning
coaches, scrummasters, development team members, managers, project managers