Project Retrospectives are an important part of any software development process. The Principles Behind the Agile Manifesto state that, "At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly." How can this be done? By taking the time to reflect and learn and proactively determine what should be done differently in the next iteration, release, or project. Linda's presentation will introduce techniques for project retrospectives, whether they are agile or not. The techniques help teams discover what they’re doing well so that successful practices can continue and identify what should be done differently to improve performance. Retrospectives are not finger pointing or blaming sessions, but rather a highly effective process in which teams reflect on the past to become more productive in the future. Linda will share her experiences with leading retrospectives of several kinds for dozens of projects—successful and unsuccessful, small and large, in academia and industry. Her lessons learned can be applied to any project to enable teams and organizations to become learning organizations.


Outline/Structure of the Tutorial

  • History and rationale for retrospectives
  • Resources available
  • Sample exercises
  • Experiments in agile retrospectives

Learning Outcome

How to become a learning organization.

Target Audience




schedule Submitted 8 years ago

  • Linda Rising

    Linda Rising - Science or Stories?

    60 Mins

    Smart people are logical and objective. They (we) look at the evidence to help make the best possible decisions. We are not influenced by hype or emotion and as a result our behavior reflects the best the world has to offer. Cognitive science now tells us that these beliefs about ourselves and others (especially scientists) are wrong. All of us tend to make decisions based on intuition or emotion and then justify those decisions later with logic, a process called rationalization. The most influential element in our environment is not scientific evidence but stories. We love stories. Research shows that we are more likely to buy a product or embrace a process because of a friend, colleague, or relative and ignore evidence that might go against that decision. Are these bad things? Is there anything we can do about it? We have a long history of being influenced by stories and it has helped us survive. Linda suggests that the real answer is we need both approaches -- stories and emotion + evidence and logic. Both approaches have flaws and benefits. Linda will share examples and tell her own stories to try to convince you and try to help us do a better job of making decisions.

  • Vineet

    Vineet - Cook your Product better : story map and no estimate is the new recipe

    Product Management
    schedule 8 years ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Experience Report

    I'll share my experience on how we shipped products faster using story maps and how team's focus on smaller goals than estimates / numbers / complexities helped us achieve it. 

    The session would give an insight on:

    • Aligning team with product vision 
    • Shiping features fast / faster 
    • Better product backlog management 
    • Delivering without estimation 


    Some of our challenges / questions were:

    • Are we delivering value ? 
    • How do we know we have delivered enough for our customers ? 
    • What is our priority right now ? 
    • Do we have a bigger picture ? 
    • Aligning team with product vision
    • Is tracking numbers the right thing to do ? 
    • How fast should we ship ? What are the related challenges ? 

    We solved these questions / challenges first by using story maps and then removed estimation. Story map gave a clearer picture of what's planned and what's in the next customer release. Other ideas helped us easily identify when to ship and what to ship (I'll discuss more about these in the session). 

    Story map is a great way to collaboratively identify the features, prioritize them and create milestones. We used story maps as our card wall also. It was an interesting experience :) 

    No estimate helps the team focus more on goals and less on numbers. It helps the team to think more about the customers and how would they use the product and less about velocity, charts and commitment. It changes team's perspective and team starts shipping a usuable product for customers.