Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Iteration Retrospective

Retrospective is an agile process which allows the team to stop and look at what they have been doing and ways to improve.

There are many types of retrospective depending upon when it is done; if you do a retrospective at the end of the iteration it is called iteration retrospective.

The main goal of the retrospective is to discuss with the team what went wrong, why and how can we prevent it in the future. The outcome of the retrospective may change the way you execute the next iterations.

There are 3 fundamental questions which the team should be asking
  • What went well in the iteration, which we should continue doing?
  • What should we stop doing?
  • What should we start doing?

Please note the order of the question it is very important for the team morale to talk about success first before discussing the bag things.

By discussing the problem and suggestion the team can change the way they run the next iteration and eventually grow and be more responsive and productive. A retrospective should be plan for about 30-40 minutes, ensure the time and location used is convenient for every team member to attend, this meeting should not be optional. Shareholder, Business Unit, SME, BA, Developer, QA in fact anyone and everyone who was involved in the iteration should be attending the meeting, you may invite customer in the meeting depending upon their involvement.

Retrospective should not be a blame and shame session, it is not about who did wrong, it should be all about how can the team improve based on the team experiences. Team members should not be scared to speak up and admit the things which were done wrong.

Get feedback from the team members about the retrospective to make the retrospective better for them and finally don’t forget to thank the team to be open and honest.