Published on March 16, 2014
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RETROSPECTIVES: How (and Why) to Not Hate Them Hala Saleh Agile Coach, Product Manager, Entrepreneur http://www.halasaleh.com @HalaSaleh1
Who Am I? • Hala Saleh • CSM , CSP (as of last Tuesday!), PMP • History/Evolution: Developer -> QA Engineer -> Project Manager -> Agile Coach/ Consultant • Today: Co-Founder: NomNomFinder.com, Director of Product at Rentler.com, involved in Utah startup scene • Passionate about agile because of my belief in the power of agile values to transform the way we live and work! © 2014 Hala Saleh www.halasaleh.com
What is a Retrospective? © 2014 Hala Saleh www.halasaleh.com
Retrospectives: Then and Now q Historically: Post-Mortems - Share your experience with post-mortems! Describe them. What happens afterwards? q Used to be done at the end of a long-term project. Issues: - Team frequently disperses afterwards - No opportunity for real improvement q Nowadays: Usually done at the end of a “sprint” or iteration, especially in agile organizations q Some teams are making retrospectives an ongoing activity © 2014 Hala Saleh www.halasaleh.com
© 2014 Hala Saleh www.halasaleh.com If you could implement only ONE thing from agile methodologies, it should be #retrospec;ves.
• Who has participated in a retrospective or post- mortem? • Who participates in retrospectives on a regular basis? Split into groups of 4 – 5 people: – should have at least 1 person who has participated in retrospectives in each group Let’s Explore © 2014 Hala Saleh www.halasaleh.com
In your groups, discuss the following questions (5 minutes): 1. What do you like about retrospectives, or what are some potential advantages? 2. What do you NOT like about retrospectives, or what are some potential disadvantages? Keeping it Real © 2014 Hala Saleh www.halasaleh.com
What do you like about retrospectives, or what are some potential advantages? • Safe place to implement changes • Retrospective activities (like drawing – ways to think outside of the normal paradigm) • Talking about things that might need to change in process • Seeing a change implemented Retrospectives: The Good © 2014 Hala Saleh www.halasaleh.com
• When done frequently, can expose problems before they become deep-seated issues • Team interaction • Openness • “We can do it” attitude Retrospectives: The Good Crowd-Sourced (Twitter, F2F): © 2014 Hala Saleh www.halasaleh.com
What do you NOT like about retrospectives, or what are some potential disadvantages? • Sometimes hard to get participation • People come with complaints but no ideas on how to change • Another meeting • Fels like baggage is being brought up every time Retrospectives: The Bad (& the Ugly) © 2014 Hala Saleh www.halasaleh.com
Retrospectives: The Bad (& the Ugly) Crowd-Sourced (Twitter, F2F): • Feels like a critical environment – Fix: Frequency to feel more comfortable • The information gathered is almost always forgotten/ignored – Fix: Treat action items as regular tasks that go in your backlog – Focus on 1 – 2 items that the team agrees on • Blame/fingerpointing – Fix: Setting retrospective rules ahead of time © 2014 Hala Saleh www.halasaleh.com
Retrospectives: The 5 Whys • Why retrospect? – Retrospection = Analysis • Why analyze? – Analysis = Understanding • Why understand? – Understanding = Improvement • Why improve? – Improvement = Growth • Why grow? – Growth = So many things! (Let’s check the next slide) © 2014 Hala Saleh www.halasaleh.com
Retrospectives: Growth = ? • Growth = – Achievement – Novelty – Excitement – Motivation – FUN. • And at the end of the day, if you aren’t having fun, then you aren’t going to stick around. © 2014 Hala Saleh www.halasaleh.com
Retrospectives and YOU If retrospectives can help create an environment where you are motivated, learning, improving, and having fun: • What do you think now about your role in retrospectives? • How do you feel about whether retrospectives are successful and achieve their goals? © 2014 Hala Saleh www.halasaleh.com
• Retrospectives can come in different shapes and sizes • Encourage your team/ facilitator to change it up • Stagnation = the kiss of death Retrospectives: Some flavors © 2014 Hala Saleh www.halasaleh.com
• What went well? • What didn’t go well? • What can we change/ Action items (a.k.a HCWMWDGWGWNT*)? Retrospectives: Standard Edition * How Can We Make What Didn’t Go Well Go Well Next Time © 2014 Hala Saleh www.halasaleh.com
• Data Gathering: – List the main events/highlights of the last iteration • Data Analysis: – Which of the events were highs? Why? – Which of the events were lows? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? (i.e. 5 Whys to get to Root Cause). Let’s try! • Root Cause -> Action Items: – Now that we know root cause: What can be done to avoid repeating the lows? Retrospectives: Standard Edition+ © 2014 Hala Saleh www.halasaleh.com
© 2014 Hala Saleh www.halasaleh.com Starfish Retrospectives: An Example
• Allow people to go mark certain dates on the timeline to show when something happened that had an impact on them • Discuss the different events and have people explain what the impact was on them personally and on the team • Ask the team to come up with solutions to the most commonly mentioned events • Team picks 1 – 2 action items to include in next iteration Retrospective Timeline © 2014 Hala Saleh www.halasaleh.com
Your Favorite Retrospective? © 2014 Hala Saleh www.halasaleh.com
• Set Retrospective Rules – Frequency (Experiment with this!) – Who Facilitates – End Result • Gather Data • Acknowledge the Positive • Focus on 1 – 2 Challenges/Issues to Discuss – Team should vote/agree on what they are most motivated to work on • Action Plan Your Action Items – Include them in your requirements, tasks, backlog the same as any other task – Include in your next iteration’s planning – Include in your next iteration’s review Retrospectives: Framework for Success © 2014 Hala Saleh www.halasaleh.com
Resources & Tools • Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great (Esther Derby & Diana Larsen) • Esther Derby’s blog: http://www.estherderby.com/ category/reading/_retrospectives • Retrospective cookies: (weisbart.com/cookies) • retrospectivewiki.org © 2014 Hala Saleh www.halasaleh.com
© 2014 Hala Saleh www.halasaleh.com • TODAY: Make a difference in your team/org’s retrospectives! • Send the following: (Note: Find me at firstname.lastname@example.org or @HalaSaleh1, ping me TODAY and I will send this to you! I will also include you in a drawing for 1 of 2 prizes: Agile Retrospectives book and a box of Retrospective fortune cookies!) Dear Project Manager/Scrum Master/Team/Person who facilitates retrospectives (or should), Today, I became a believer in the power of retrospectives. There is so much growth and learning we can achieve together as a team! I am happy to share some of what I’ve learned and some ideas I got from the session I attended. One example is generating concrete action items that get included in our planning and development cycles, and are treated the same as any other development task! I look forward to contributing to making our retrospectives a success. Retrospectives: Your Task
• Ben Linders (@BenLinders) • Matt McMurry (@mcmurrym) • Samantha Laing (@samlaing) • Karen Greaves (@karen_greaves) • John Miller (@agileschools) • Syednazirrazik (@joesat) Thanks to the following RetroRockstars (for answering my Twitter request) © 2014 Hala Saleh www.halasaleh.com
Topic: Retrospectives: How (and Why) to Not Hate Them Speaker: Hala Saleh “If you could adopt only one practice from agile methodologies, it should be
RETROSPECTIVES: How (and Why) to Not Hate Them Hala Saleh Agile Coach, Product Manager, Entrepreneur http://www.halasaleh.com @HalaSaleh1. ... Describe ...
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