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The Art of the Agile Retrospective

Want a Great Agile Retrospective Recipe?

Want the simple recipe to conducting the perfect Agile Retrospective? JD Meier has just what you need in this post from his blog. He starts, appropriately, with what can go wrong in an Agile Retrospective, which includes a lack of clarity on outcomes, a lack of focus during retrospective, and too much debate without enough dialogue.

Give It Time To Catch On

If you manage to avoid those setbacks from the start, you’re more likely to gain everything possible from a retrospective. The keys, according to Meier, include setting an agenda with a timebox, asking what went well and what could be improved. While it may take time for people to open up to both their own successes and failures (especially failures), eventually it will become a norm, which will yield outstanding insights only possible through an Agile Retrospective. Consider also Meier’s tip on a few different ways to deal with the inevitable conflicts which occur in such meetings:

I’ve found two Edward de Bono techniques help deal with conflict during hot topics are:

  • PMI (Plus Points, Minus Points, and Interesting Points) – What’s the upside? what’s the downside? and what’s interesting about this.
  • Six Thinking Hats – A way to switch hats to switch perspective to see multiple angles on the same topic.

I find these techniques help keep an open and curious mind.  Especially if you use them in a question-driven way and keep it simple.  Rather than have people arguing different sides at the same time, have them argue the same side at the same time, and then switch perspectives (or “hats.”)

The hats range from white (facts and figures) to red (emotions) and green (creative). This is an outstanding way to help your team see different perspectives and think outside of their own traditional understandings. 

Read the full article here:

About Matthew Kabik

Matthew Kabik is the former Editor of Computer Aid’s Accelerating IT Success. He worked at Computer Aid, Inc. from 2008 to 2014 in the Harrisburg offices, where he was a copywriter, swordsman, social media consultant, and trainer before moving into editorial.

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