Retrospective Meetings

What we did well ? What we didn’t ? How we can ?

I always use to think that Retrospective meeting is all about taking some time out of busy delivery schedule to reflect back on the work we did. I somehow feel it’s an important practice in agile methodology. The goal of the meeting  should be to continue the momentum of continuous delivery by effectively continuing some process, amending some process to suit the team best and then dropping off some. Retrospective Meeting also allows us to review our practices; practices that worked well, practices that didn’t work so well and practices that should be picked up or implemented.
Another thing which I wanted to point out is: most of the Retrospective Meetings results in bunch of action items. Some of them are forgotten the very moment we step out of the room (post Retrospective) and then they got picked up once again right before the next Retrospective meeting (just to give update). What’s the point in having such action items? Also those action items looks so obvious that I sometimes wonder why to have a meeting with the whole team just to declare those obvious items. Moreover I am of the opinion that we should consider the action items as non-functional backlog. So we should come up with action item wisely and they should be measurable in nature so that we don’t loose track of it.
There could be many ways of facilitating Retrospective meeting, but personally I hate it when the whole team gets packed in a room to discuss just the problems. Retrospective meeting is all about improving the way in which we are working. If Retrospectives are not bringing any change/improvement in the delivery process,  then it’s frustrating and becomes the most neglected practice in the Scrum methodology.

One Response

  1. For a successful retrospective:

    Set the Stage
    Lay the groundwork for the session by reviewing the goal and agenda. Create an environment for participation by checking in and establishing working agreements.

    Gather Data
    Review objective and subjective information to create a shared picture of the iteration. When the group members see the iteration from many points of view, they’ll have greater insight and will be more likely to move beyond their personal views to the see the big picture of how the team works.

    Generate Insights
    Step back, and look at the picture the team has created. Use activities that help people think together to delve beneath the surface. When people think together from shared data, they are more likely to arrive at ideas that the whole group supports.

    Decide What to Do
    Prioritize the team’s insights and choose a few improvements or experiments that will make a difference for the team. Identify concrete, small steps that the team can take in the next iteration—one colleague calls them “now actions.” And make sure that the action steps are folded into the overall work plan, not kept to the side in an “improvement plan.” When improvement is part of the regular plan, it’s seen as a normal part of work, not something extra that the team will get to if they have time.

    Close the Retrospective
    Summarize how the team will follow up on plans and commitments. Thank people for their hard work, and do a little retrospective on the retrospective so you can improve your retrospective process, too.

    This may look like a lot to cover in one meeting; but each step plays an important part, and needn’t take a long time.

    More here: http://www.estherderby.com/tag/retrospectives

Comments are closed.

Back to Top
%d bloggers like this: