In this presentation filmed during QCon London 2007, Boris Gloger speaks about retrospectives. Agile development teams learn and improve by inspecting and adapting. High performing teams inspect and adapt not only their code and tests, but also their methods and interactions.
Andy Hunt's interview last month talks about his progression from pragmatic programmer to Agile development to his latest interest – Pragmatic Wetware. "Wetware is the stuff in your head. That's the thing between your ears that's really where all the action is – that's where all the software development actually takes place."
What are the typical problems that Retrospectives suffer from? What do we do to avoid them?
Scrum defines an impediment as "anything keeping the team from being more productive" and clearly stresses that teams establish means to remove them as continuously as possible. Joe Little proposes an impediment's scope may be better established as being anything keeping the organization from delivering value.
Even the very greenest of agile teams clearly recognize the word 'Retrospective'. But, alas, it is often overlooked that a retrospective may be a wasted effort if not used to initiate an actual improvement that the team follows through on. Jim Shore gives advice on how to make the most of your retrospective and reminds us of the activity's ultimate place in the agile heartbeat.
The involvement of customer in an Agile project is taken for granted, however in many situations, intentionally or unintentionally, the customer may not follow the Agile practices. An interesting discussion on the Extreme Programming group tries to decipher the situation and find possible solutions.
Trying to explain the benefits of Agile Software Development to your CIO? Does your boss want some outside validation? Esther Schindler asked more than 50 developers and Agile practitioners one question: "If you could get the boss to understand one thing, just one thing, related to agile development...what would it be? Why that?".
The 'Retrospective Prime Directive' is commonly used in retrospectives to encourage deep learning without recriminations. But what do you do when you *can't* agree that you "understand and truly believe" that everyone did their best? In this InfoQ article, a group of senior practitioners discusses the benefits and difficulties of using this practice.
What value do teams get from measuring velocity, beyond the ability to reasonably estimate commitments for the short-term future? J.B. Rainsberger proposes that teams spend less energy scrutinizing velocity and more energy thoughtfully identifying and eliminating areas of waste in their projects.
The original definition of a retrospective, as presented by Norm Kerth, was a 3 day, offsite meeting. In, Agile Retrospectives, we are given 5 phases to be covered, but no specific guidance on time. In her recent article, Rachel Davies suggests that we have 30 minutes per week under review. How long should a retrospective last to be effective?
Although agilists focus much of their energy on helping their agile projects succeed, it is helpful to periodically stop and consider what causes some agile projects and agile adoptions to fail. Armed with this knowledge, perhaps one can avoid these same pitfalls.
Lean methods employ Kaizen, or continuous improvement, to reduce waste and improve results on a regular, even daily, basis. On the leanagilescrum group, Alan asked, "Are there known techniques for facilitating kaizen activities within Lean/Agile software development?"
When we seek process improvement by discarding traditional SDLC rules, how should we work? Retrospectives are a tool teams can use to reflect on their process and improve it gradually over time. In this article, Rachel Davies offers help for teams who have ideas for improvements but are not sure how to get them off the ground.
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.
Agile veteran Ron Jeffries is a believer in the value of dialogue. So he's offering the Agile community a new resource, an Agile Forum, hoping it will be a brand-neutral, consultant-neutral place, open to and shared by everyone who is interested in advancing him- or herself in Agile, or in bringing Agile to the world. In XPmag, Ron's made an open invitation to both participants and volunteers.