Anti-Patterns are like patterns, only more informative. With anti-patterns you will first see what patterns reoccur in “bad” retrospectives and then you will see how to avoid, or remedy, the situation.
If the retrospectives are one of the main improvement tools for Agile teams, they can also be the subjects of improvement. In this article, Tom Monico explains how his team has adopted the starfish model to create a better retrospectives process where feedback is produced in real-time and not only at the end of a Scrum sprint.
After presenting some basic retrospective techniques in the first part of this article, Jesus Mendez provides in the second part some additional techniques that focuses on the facilitating part of the Scrum sprint retrospectives.
Sprint retrospectives are an important tool for Agile software development teams that want to implement continuous improvement and adjustment to their working context. In this article, Jesus Mendez provides some techniques that could help improving the outcome of your Sprint retrospectives.
When I started with Agile and Scrum back at 2005, I was not much different from any other agile newbie, and I was complaining for having regular retrospective. “What for? We are already sitting together, we are a good team, we tell each other what should be said. It’s waste of time. Formal meeting…” Later I realized retrospective is quite useful and implemented it as one of the key Scrum practices.
The frontier is somewhat thin between analyzing things for continous improvement in Agile and blaming people for failure. In this blog post, John Allspaw discusses how Etsy wants to consider mistakes, errors, slips or lapses with a perspective of learning. he explains how having blameless post-mortems on outages and accidents are part of this approach.
The last Agile Manifesto principle states that “At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.” For Scrum teams, the sprint retrospective is therefore a key meeting for continuous improvement. The results are however not always satisfying. In his book “Essential Scrum“, Kenneth Rubin discusses the most common issues in sprint retrospectives that he has noticed in his Agile coaching experience.