Tips to Improve Retrospectives

by Mark Levison on  Dec 17, 2008

Advice from Esther Derby, George Dinwiddie, Jo Geske, Mike Sutton and Ilja Preuss on how to make retrospectives better. The ideas include tips for the facilitator/Scrum Master and new ways to use the burndown chart.

Using a "Snake On The Wall" To Quantify Impediments

by Mike Bria on  Dec 10, 2008 6

Kevin Schlabach discusses using a "Snake On The Wall", a lightweight approach targeted at helping your team get a better handle on the things that are slowing the development process.

Performance Reviews Banished

by Mark Levison on  Oct 30, 2008 7

In the Wall Street Journal, Sam Culbert argues that annual performance and pay reviews are at best dysfunctional. He sees their primary purpose as "intimidation aimed at preserving the boss's authority and power advantage". Jeff Sutherland, Mary Poppendieck, ... offer alterantives

Making Retrospective Changes Stick

by Mike Bria on  Sep 24, 2008 4

Agile teams may find it easy to talk about change during their retrospectives, but not so easy to make that change actually happen. Esther Derby, well-known thought-leader on the human aspects of software development, recounts an experience from her personal improvement efforts to illustrate this and offer a few suggestions on how to succeed with making change actually happen.

Presentation: Agile and Beyond - The Power of Aspirational Teams

by Abel Avram on  Aug 28, 2008 1

In this presentation filmed during Agile 2008, Tim Mackinnon talks about the aspirations behind the Agile principles and practices, the desire to become efficient, to write quality code which does not end up being thrown away. Tim has a personal perspective on Agile practices and shares from his own experience.

Presentation: Heartbeat Retrospectives to Amplify Team Effectiveness

by Abel Avram on  Jul 10, 2008

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.

The Personal Retrospective – Improving Your "Wetware"

by Derek Longmuir on  Jul 03, 2008 1

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."

Retrospective Failures and How to Avoid Them

by Mark Levison on  Jun 04, 2008

What are the typical problems that Retrospectives suffer from? What do we do to avoid them?

Impediments To Your Value-Stream

by Mike Bria on  Apr 28, 2008

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.

First (Forgotten?) Rule Of The Retrospective: Follow Through

by Mike Bria on  Apr 08, 2008

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.

Should the Customer Care about Agile?

by Vikas Hazrati on  Mar 13, 2008 2

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.

50 Developers Answer: What Do You Want Your CIO to Know About Agile?

by Mark Levison on  Feb 19, 2008 3

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?".

Questioning the Retrospective Prime Directive

by Deborah Hartmann Preuss on  Feb 16, 2008 10

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.

Is Velocity Really the Golden Measurement?

by Mike Bria on  Jan 21, 2008 3

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.

How Long Should Retrospectives Last?

by Amr Elssamadisy on  Nov 13, 2007 6

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?

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