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A Guide for Preparing and Facilitating Retrospectives

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The Why, What, and ideas for How to prepare and facilitate Agile retrospectives

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A Guide for Preparing and Facilitating Retrospectives

  1. 1. A Guide for Preparing and FacilitatingRetrospectivesJason Yipjcyip@thoughtworks.com@jchyiphttp://jchyip.blogspot.com
  2. 2. Why retrospectives?
  3. 3. How do we learn together?
  4. 4. How do we learn while we still haveenough time to intervene?
  5. 5. Basic retrospectivestructure
  6. 6. Simple retrospective framework1. Set the Stage: What is the purpose of the retrospective(e.g., improve delivery process)? What is the scope ofexploration (e.g., last week)?2. Gather Data: Collect facts and key memories3. Generate Insights: Interpret data, root cause analysis;identify solutions or improvements4. Decide What to Do: Prioritise which actions to take5. Close the Retrospective: Summarise and review planof actionFrom Agile Retrospectives by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen
  7. 7. Establish safety first
  8. 8. Prime directiveAt the start of the retrospective, read out aloud and display thefollowing:Regardless of what we discover, we understand andtruly believe that everyone did the best job they could,given what they knew at the time, their skills andabilities, the resources available, and the situation athand.At the end of a project everyone knows so much more. Naturallywe will discover decisions and actions we wish we could do over.This is wisdom to be celebrated, not judgement used toembarrass.http://www.retrospectives.com/pages/retroPrimeDirective.html
  9. 9. Safety check: 1 - 5Each person anonymously (e.g., fold up answers, same colour stickynotes and markers) writes down a number representing their senseof personal safety:1. I’ll smile, claim everything is great and agree with managers2. I’m not going to say much, I’ll let others bring up issues3. I’ll talk about some things, but others will be hard to say4. I’ll talk about almost anything; a few things might be hard5. No problem, I’ll talk about anythingIf there are a significant number of people that are 3 or below,redirect the retrospective to work out how to improve safety.http://agileretroactivities.blogspot.com.br/2012/11/safety-check.html
  10. 10. Safety check: ESVPEach person anonymously (e.g., fold up answers, same colour sticky notes andmarkers) writes down a letter representing how they intend to participate:- Explorer. You are eager to discover new ideas and insights. You want to learneverything you can about the the iteration/release/project.- Shopper. You will look over all the available information and will be happy togo home with one useful new idea.- Vacationer. You aren’t interested in the work of the retrospective, but arehappy to be away from the daily grind. You may pay attention some of the time,but are mostly glad to be out of the office.- Prisoner. You feel that you’ve been forced to attend and would rather be doingsomething else.If there are a significant number of Vacationers and/or Prisoners, redirect theretrospective to work out how to address this which may mean cancelling.http://www.markhneedham.com/blog/2012/10/27/retrospectives-an-alternative-safety-check/
  11. 11. A few retrospectivestyles
  12. 12. Four questions-What did we do well, that if we don’t discuss we mightforget?-What did we learn?-What should we do differently next time?-What still puzzles us?http://www.retrospectives.com/pages/RetrospectiveKeyQuestions.html
  13. 13. SAMOLO-Same As-More Of-Less Of
  14. 14. I Like, I wish, What IF?-I Like how we ….-I Wish that we would have …-What If we … ? OR I Wonder if we could … ?http://dschool.stanford.edu/wp-content/themes/dschool/method-cards/i-like-i-wish-what-if.pdf
  15. 15. Starfishhttp://www.thekua.com/rant/2006/03/the-retrospective-starfish/
  16. 16. Retrospective timelinehttp://www.thekua.com/rant/2006/03/a-retrospective-timeline/
  17. 17. Goal-drivenhttp://fabiopereira.me/blog/2008/11/23/goal-driven-retrospective/
  18. 18. Solution-focused goal-driven1. Identify the Ideal State / True North / Future Perfect using theMiracle Question. "Imagine that a miracle occurred and all ourproblems have been solved. How could you tell? What would bedifferent?”2. Identify where we are now using the Scaling Question. "If 10 isthe ideal and 0 is where nothing is working, where are we now?”3. Identify what we are already doing that works. "What are wealready doing that works? That is, why are we [for example] 5 ratherthan 0?”4. Identify how to move toward the ideal. "Using the resources wehave, what can we do to move one step closer to 10?”http://jchyip.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/solution-focused-goal-driven.html
  19. 19. Retrospective Dialogue sheetshttp://www.softwarestrategy.co.uk/dlgsheets/available.html
  20. 20. Practical tips and tricks
  21. 21. Make sure you close
  22. 22. One concept per sticky note
  23. 23. Fine tip markers for legibility
  24. 24. Vote for what we need to talk about, not forwhat we want to talk about-Encourage people to vote based on on relevance to targetoutcomes / goals, not based on what they happen to feel atthe moment.
  25. 25. Distributed tips andtricks
  26. 26. Video on all ends
  27. 27. Post comments through instant message
  28. 28. Retrospective checklist
  29. 29. Retrospective checklist1. What is the purpose of your retrospective?2. What kind of outcome are you looking for?3. Who will be invited to the retrospective?4. Do you anticipate any problems in terms of personalsafety and willingness or ability to contribute?5. What kind of retrospective process will you use?a) How will you set the stage?b) How will you gather data?c) How will you generate insights?d) How will you decide what to do?e) How will you close the retrospective?
  30. 30. Further references
  31. 31. Further references-Project Retrospectives, Norman Kerth• See also http://retrospectives.com-Agile Retrospectives, Esther Derby and Diana Larsen-The Retrospective Handbook, Patrick Kua,https://leanpub.com/the-retrospective-handbook-Agile Retrospective Resource Wiki,http://retrospectivewiki.org/index.php?title=Main_Page

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