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 a 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.
Diana Larsen, founding partner of FutureWorks Consulting, is considered an international authority in the areas of Agile software development, team leadership, and Agile transitions.
Diana works with organizations around the world to design high performance work systems, improve project team effectiveness, and support leaders and enterprises in their transitions to Agile methods. Diana co-founded FutureWorks Consulting LLC and draws on 20+ years of working with technical professionals to coach managers on their role in a changing workplace.
Deeply in tune with how work teams grow, adapt, develop, and perform, she co-authored Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great (recommended reading for the PMI-ACP); Liftoff: Launching Agile Teams and Projects; Quickstart Guide to Five Rules for Accelerated Learning; and articles about the Agile Fluency™ model at www.agilefluency.com and InfoQ.