While traveling from Mount Pilot to Charlotte, NC Esther and I discussed some of the difficulties with distributed retrospectives. We discussed how different intake modes and learning styles get lost when one or more team members aren't co-located during a retrospective.
We receive information from our physical senses: seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, and smelling. Of these, tasting and smelling don't usually come into play during a retrospective. This leaves:
People tend to have a preferred intake mode, visual, auditory or kinesthetic, but access the other intake modes. This helps refine the data input. If a teammate's actions and tone contridict the words, we're likely to ask for clarification.
You can find a description and resources for Kolb's learning styles here. The basic 4 types are:
(Descriptions from a really old copy of Skiing Right)
Again, we're not all one and none of the other. The weight/strength of each axis gets plotted on a radar chart. On the instrument Don took, he “scored” CE 18, RO 8, AC 16, AE 17. Like Jungian Type, there is no “best” learning style. The take away becomes awareness about learning styles as we design a distributed retrospective.
We divided into pairs and worked through:
“Review the activities you use in light of:
We built this list. Some we've used, some we haven't. For the those we haven't, they were mentioned in retrospective workshops when we discussed this topic. The free/fee is my best guess based on what Don could find on the internet.
Tools for mitigating some distributed retrospective adverse affects:
Google Docs - free: allows multiple editors and shares in near real time.
yammer.com - fee: Looks like a hybrid twitter/skype/wiki
campfirenow.com - fee: Real-Time Chat, Code Sharing for Remote Teams.
cardmeeting.com - free: virtual project/task board
webex/gotomeeting - fee: desktop sharing software
skype - free: video (2 people), voice and IM (multiple)
oovoo.com - free: 6 way video conferencing
dabbleboard - online whiteboard, free/fee http://www.dabbleboard.com/ (don … what is the one george and you looked @ when doing GCN?)
http://en.linoit.com/ - online stickies. Looks free as of 6/2009
mimeo - ??
surveymonkey.com - free: surveys
secondlife.com - free: voice and text chat. Could we create our own community/estate and limit access? “Agile”Bill Krebs offers several venues for Agile work in 3d environments including retrospectives with immersive tools. Tweet DM him at AgileBill4d, Second Life AgileBill Firehawk, or linkedin.com/in/BillKrebs.
http://www.estherderby.com/weblog/labels/Retrospectives.html “Face to Face still matters”
1. Reduced bandwidth limits sharing information to largely static methods.
2. Reduced ability to collaborate and interact.
3. Keeping team members engaged.
4. Kinesthetic activity (small vs large muscle movement).
6. Supports mainly visual learners, somewhat auditory, very little kinesthetic.
7. Temporal impedance (time of day issues across time zones)
(From Jutta Eckstein's Agile 2008 session)
1. Cultural Differences
2. Time Zone
3. Language barriers
4. Tool (performance)
5. Unequal power relationship
6. Different activities needed
7. Lack of visibility (ie non-verbal communication)
8. Lack of involvement
9. Low honesty (lack of trust)
10. Process knowledge is different
11. Hard to facilitate
12. Sharing / integrating experiences / results
13. Takes longer
14. Stays more on the surface
15. Harder to be constructive
17. Harder to interpret results