Well-Organized and Run Retrospectives Are Not a Nuisance

Jurgen wrote Lesson Learned: Automate Project Evaluations a couple of weeks ago. I've been trying to find a nice way to explain that no, Jurgen is wrong. I can't do it.

Jurgen, You are WRONG.

If anyone here is doing some form of agile or incremental or any kind of development, and you have not bought everyone on your team a copy of Esther Derby and Diana Larsen's Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great, you don't know what you are missing. Literally.

You don't need more than a couple of hours at the end of an iteration to really learn what was working and what might need to change. You'll gain way more from a short retrospective at the end of the meeting than any form will tell you.

Forms help people hide behind what they think happened. Forms help people blame one another. Forms prevent people from exploring options. Forms are not agile. They are the worst artifact of a serial process. (Gee, tell us how you really feel, JR.)

If you want to buy Agile Retrospectives from the publisher, I get no money, and Esther and Diana get a little bit more royalty. If you want to buy it from Amazon, I get a few cents and they get slightly less of a royalty. Buy it now, however you choose to do so. Just don't think that forms are an effective retrospective technique. They aren't.

3 Replies to “Well-Organized and Run Retrospectives Are Not a Nuisance”

  1. I had the same feeling when I read the post. It’s just not quite right. I just couldn’t put my finger on it.

    It reminded me of the time when a team switched from index cards to an online tool. It was rough. They didn’t have a tangible feel for how the iteration was going. It also become a chore to update the online tool.

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