Retrospective Facilitator Gathering

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I created the following 5 Retrospective Principles to use as a framework for explaining/presenting on retrospectives and training retrospective facilitators. I've found this approach useful as it adresses the “why” before getting into the “how”, so allows folks to more easily transform intention to practice(and, I hope, help to reduce the level of template-think!).

Also, as requested, here is the Dilbert Retrospective cartoon - dilbertslide.ppt

1. The highest-value learning results from a purposeful examination of project history by those involved.

- “Experience gets turned into learning when an organization alters itself to take account of what experience has shown…

  • the organization instills new skills and approaches in its people
  • the organization redesigns itself to operate in some different manner.”

Peopleware – Productive Projects and Teams by DeMarco & Lister

2. Retrospectives are ultimately about the future, as conditioned by the past.

- The fundamental goal of a retrospective is change

  • To improve future efforts within the organization
  • To increase the competence of participants
  • To promote cohesive teams

3. Safety is a mandatory pre-condition for establishing a learning environment.

- Meeting safety is a hallmark of retrospectives and is essential for enabling the complete context of the undertaking to unfold.

- The Facilitator must be able to create a safe environment where participants:

  • Are heard as a contributors rather than as critics
  • Feel free to say what’s true in public
  • Will experience no repercussions

4. Agility obliges retrospective planners to fashion each retrospective as a unique occurrence.

- Note: The intended meaning of “Agility” here is not about Agile development; it refers to the dictionary definition “the ability to think and draw conclusions quickly”. A different word may be in order.

5. Retrospectives are about the human experience of working together and must embrace perceptions and feelings along with actions and facts.

- Project work is inherently a social activity.

Group Responses to Principle Discussion

- It seems Principle #4 could be 2 principles:

  • facilitator need for agility in responding to the unexpected during the event
  • need for uniqueness in planning

- New principle idea around equal value in the contribution of every participant.

  • equal weight
  • equal opportunity

- Recognize that teams are the fundamental building capability within an organization; they need a shared picture that all acknowledge to be able to learn.

- The recurring ceremony of retrospectives builds community through the sharing.

- Positivity

retrospective_principles.txt · Last modified: 2018/10/27 07:58 (external edit)