Agile Retrospectives - Making Good Teams Great

Posted By: doctorvb
Agile Retrospectives - Making Good Teams Great
Publisher : Pragmatic Bookshelf | Author :Diana Larsen | ISBN 0977616649 | PDF | 1.15 MB
Release Date 26 July 2006 | 170 pages

Book Description
See how to mine the experience of your software development team continually throughout the life of the project. The tools and recipes in this book will help you uncover and solve hidden (and not-so-hidden) problems with your technology, your methodology, and those difficult "people" issues on your team.
Project retrospectives help teams examine what went right and what went wrong on a project. But traditionally, retrospectives (also known as "post-mortems") are only help at the end of the project–too late to help. You need agile retrospectives that are iterative and incremental. You need to accurately find and fix problems to help the team today.

Now Esther and Diana show you the tools, tricks and tips you need to fix the problems you face on a software development project on an on-going basis. You'll see how to architect retrospectives in general, how to design them specifically for your team and organization, how to run them effectively, how to make the needed changes and how to scale these techniques up. You'll learn how to deal with problems, and implement solutions effectively throughout the project–not just at the end.

With regular tune-ups, your team will hum like a precise, world-class orchestra

A Review :
Want to save time on your next project? Improve working relationships? Understand what contributed to your success ,or what didn't? You'll need a retrospective to do these things, and this is the book that will guide you to planning and conducting a great retrospective.

A retrospective provides feedback to the entire project team and helps them see how to proceed based on their immediate past experience. Esther and Diana have written a readable actionable book that explains how to plan, conduct and use the results of retrospectives. They include a full explanation of the 5-step process for a retrospective:

  • Set the Stage
  • Gather Data
  • Generate Insights
  • Decide What to do
  • Close the Retrospective
They included 30 activities with instructions on how to use those activities (and which stage(s) in which to use them). Even if you've never facilitated a retrospective before, you can use this book to learn how.
I particularly like the quick reference matrix and the moebius-strip-like picture of how the retrospective fits into an iterative lifecycle.
Everything in this book is applicable to any project. Even if you're using a stage-gate lifecycle, you could benefit from having a retrospective at any major milestone. And if you think you can't afford the time, Esther and Diana explain how to timebox a retrospective so the team uses the time most effectively. If you're on a team who's suffered through a "post-mortem" questionnaires: put down your pens, and conduct a time-boxed retrospective. You'll learn a lot more and have fun doing it.
You don't have to be a part of an agile team to use the ideas in this book. If you're willing to understand what's happening (or what has happened) on your project, and you'd like to improve things as you proceed, you can use this book. And what project manager or team wouldn't want that?

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