Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ellen Gottesdiener - Agile Retrospectives

[This article was originally published at You can find them on Twitter at @agilescout]

A retrospective is a ritual in which the project community:
Reviews the iteration/release/project story
Harvests the collective wisdom of the team
Tells the truth without blame or judgment
Identifies what to appreciate and improve
Understand and forgives its failings
Relishes in its successes

"The insights gained from the retrospectives are the basis for starting again."

What do we ask during a retrospective:
What did we do well that we might forget to do next time if we don't discuss it?
What did we learn?
What should we do differently next time?
What still puzzles us?
What needs more discussion?

Retrospectives need to have structure to them, but also flexibility to move and respond to changes:
Readying - Set the stage
Past - Gather data
Present - Generate insights
Future - Decide what to do
Retrospect - Close the retrospective

In retrospective of this talk, Ellen did a great job helping us understand a framework for holding a retrospective. To learn more about retrospectives you can visit Ellen's website at

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