The 'Retrospective Prime Directive' is a practice used by many teams as part of their continuous improvement cycle. As outlined in Norm Kerth's book, it is intended to foster the deep learning that is the heart of a retrospective. This article is an enlightening conversation, captured by Linda Rising, between senior practitioners on the benefits and the challenges of using this practice.
When Agile teams get stuck in the just-average Norming stage, rather than continuting to the exciting, high Performing stage of teamwork, sometimes they're suffering from an invisible "learning bottleneck" that stunts team performance. Agile practices require us to take time to reflect and learn - and a team that learns quickly succeeds.
Traditional SDLCs say how interactions within a team and between teams should happen; a prescription that doesn't always fit or isn't followed consistently. Rachel Davies explains how retrospectives allow teams to improve their processes by reviewing past events and brainstorming new ideas, and shows how to facilitate a retrospective for your team.
As we practice various Agile disciplines, 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. 3
Retrospectives are traditionally held at the end of a project - too late to help. Agile teams need retrospectives that are iterative and incremental, so improvement can start as soon as possible.
David Spann introduces Jean Tabaka's book, in which she shares stories and facilitation techniques to make teams and entire organizations effective, and provides templates to get them started.