Agile relies heavily on discipline, rather than genius. We're told that average teams, even in the early stages, can achieve dramatic performance improvement if they are disciplined. As we do these things, the effects of our words and actions actively create, and re-create over time, the environment in which our teams and projects operate - for good or ill.
Project retrospectives help teams examine what went right and what went wrong on a project. Traditionally held at the end of a project, they're actually too late to help - no wonder we call them "post-mortems". Agile teams need retrospectives that are iterative and incremental, to find problems and design solutions to help teams improve early on, when improvement yields the most benefit.
David Spann, himself an experienced facilitator, provides an insightful review of "Collaboration Explained: Facilitation Skills for Software Project Leaders" by Jean Tabaka. Jean, an experienced teacher, consultant and coach, offers techniques to enhance group effectiveness, provides some templates to assure their first efforts are well planned, and tells some great stories along the way.