O'Reilly logo

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Improving Agile Retrospectives: Helping Teams Become More Efficient, 1/e

Book Description

Retrospectives are a key pillar of successful agile adoption and transformation, and an indispensable tool for changing culture. They’re not only valuable in an agile context: they can be used whenever continuous improvement processes are needed, from “lessons-learned” workshops in traditional project management to enterprise-wide change management.

Agile Retrospectives Done Quickly introduces powerful, concise techniques for leading and participating in retrospectives that move faster and deliver more value. Leading agile coach/trainer Marc Loeffler offers practical, actionable instruction and detailed, results-focused examples, showing how to recognize and overcome the pitfalls often encountered in retrospectives. He shares valuable insights on distributed, solution-oriented, and systemic retrospectives, and offers expert advice on adapting retrospectives to your own unique needs.

Loeffler integrates breakthrough concepts (such as using experimentation and learning from system thinking) -- but he also presents small ideas that make a big difference, because they’re deeply grounded in real experience.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents at a Glance
  6. Contents
  7. Reader Services
  8. Foreword by Jutta Eckstein
  9. Preface
  10. Acknowledgments
  11. About the Author
  12. Chapter 1 Retrospectives
    1. 1.1 What Is a Retrospective?
    2. 1.2 New Year’s Eve Retrospective
    3. 1.3 The Retrospective Phase Model
      1. 1.3.1 Phase 1: Set the Stage
      2. 1.3.2 Phase 2: Check Hypothesis
      3. 1.3.3 Phase 3: Gather Data
      4. 1.3.4 Phase 4: Generate Insights
      5. 1.3.5 Phase 5: Define Experiments
      6. 1.3.6 Phase 6: Closing
    4. 1.4 Finding Activities for Each of the Phases
      1. 1.4.1 Agile Retrospectives Book
      2. 1.4.2 Retromat
      3. 1.4.3 Retrospective Wiki
      4. 1.4.4 Tasty Cupcakes
      5. 1.4.5 Gamestorming
    5. 1.5 The Prime Directive
    6. Summary
  13. Chapter 2 Preparing Retrospectives
    1. 2.1 Preparation
      1. 2.1.1 What Period of Time Should Be Discussed?
      2. 2.1.2 Who Should Take Part?
      3. 2.1.3 Is There a Topic?
    2. 2.2 The Right Time, the Right Place
    3. 2.3 The Right Material
      1. 2.3.1 The Right Markers
      2. 2.3.2 The Right Sticky notes
      3. 2.3.3 The Right Flipchart Paper
    4. 2.4 Food
    5. 2.5 The Agenda
    6. Summary
  14. Chapter 3 The First Retrospective
    1. 3.1 Preparation
    2. 3.2 Set the Stage: Car Comparison
    3. 3.3 Gather Data
    4. 3.4 Generate Insights: 5 Whys
    5. 3.5 Define Next Experiments: Brainstorming
    6. 3.6 Closing: ROTI
    7. Summary
  15. Chapter 4 The Retrospective Facilitator
    1. 4.1 How Do I Become a Good Facilitator?
      1. 4.1.1 Respect Different Communication Styles
      2. 4.1.2 Paraphrasing
      3. 4.1.3 Support Participants
      4. 4.1.4 Stacking
      5. 4.1.5 Encourage
      6. 4.1.6 Feedback Emotion
      7. 4.1.7 Intended Silence
      8. 4.1.8 Listen for Common Ground
    2. 4.2 Visual Facilitation
      1. 4.2.1 The 1×1 of Visual Structure
    3. 4.3 Visual Retrospectives
      1. 4.3.1 The Speedboat Retrospective
      2. 4.3.2 Trading Cards
      3. 4.3.3 Perfection Game
      4. 4.3.4 Force Field Analysis
      5. 4.3.5 Sources of Inspiration for Visual Facilitation
    4. 4.4 Internal or External
      1. 4.4.1 Tips for Internal Facilitators
      2. 4.4.2 External Facilitators
    5. 4.5 After the Retro Is Before the Retro
    6. Summary
  16. Chapter 5 From the Metaphor to the Retrospective
    1. 5.1 The Orchestra Retrospective
      1. 5.1.1 Set the Stage
      2. 5.1.2 Gather Data
      3. 5.1.3 Generate Insights
      4. 5.1.4 Define Experiments and Hypothesis
      5. 5.1.5 Closing
    2. 5.2 The Soccer Retrospective
      1. 5.2.1 Preparation
      2. 5.2.2 Set the Stage
      3. 5.2.3 Gather Data
      4. 5.2.4 Generating Insights
      5. 5.2.5 Define Next Experiments and Hypothesis
      6. 5.2.6 Closing
    3. 5.3 The Train Retrospective
      1. 5.3.1 Set the Stage
      2. 5.3.2 Gather Data
      3. 5.3.3 Generate Insights
      4. 5.3.4 Define Experiments and Hypothesis
      5. 5.3.5 Closing
    4. 5.4 The Kitchen Retrospective
      1. 5.4.1 Set the Stage
      2. 5.4.2 Gather Data
      3. 5.4.3 Generate Insights
      4. 5.4.4 Define Experiments and Hypothesis
      5. 5.4.5 Closing
    5. 5.5 The Pirate Retrospective
      1. 5.5.1 Set the Stage
      2. 5.5.2 Gather Data
      3. 5.5.3 Generate Insights
      4. 5.5.4 Define Experiments and Hypothesis
      5. 5.5.5 Closing
    6. Summary
  17. Chapter 6 Systemic Retrospectives
    1. 6.1 Systems
      1. 6.1.1 Static and Dynamic
      2. 6.1.2 Complicated and Complex
    2. 6.2 System Thinking
      1. 6.2.1 Causal Loop Diagrams
      2. 6.2.2 Current Reality Tree
      3. 6.2.3 Limitations of System Thinking
    3. 6.3 Complexity Thinking
      1. 6.3.1 Martie—The Management 3.0 Model
      2. 6.3.2 The ABIDE Model
    4. Summary
  18. Chapter 7 Solution-Focused Retrospectives
    1. 7.1 The Solution-Focused Approach
      1. 7.1.1 Problem Talk Creates Problems, Solution Talk Creates Solutions
      2. 7.1.2 Focus on the Better Future
      3. 7.1.3 No Problem Happens All the Time; There Are Always Exceptions That Can Be Utilized
      4. 7.1.4 If It Works, Do More of It
      5. 7.1.5 If It’s Not Working, Do Something Different
      6. 7.1.6 Small Steps Can Lead to Big Changes
      7. 7.1.7 Focus on Strength and Skills
      8. 7.1.8 Understand and Trust That Each Person Is an Expert in His or Her Own Situation
      9. 7.1.9 Keep the Attitude of Not Knowing
      10. 7.1.10 Be Patient and Confident
      11. 7.1.11 The Prime Directive of Retrospectives
    2. 7.2 A Solution-Focused Retrospective in Five Steps
      1. 7.2.1 Opening
      2. 7.2.2 Set Goals
      3. 7.2.3 Find Meaning
      4. 7.2.4 Initiate Action
      5. 7.2.5 Check Results
      6. 7.2.6 A Brief, Solution-Focused Retrospective
    3. Summary
  19. Chapter 8 Distributed Retrospectives
    1. 8.1 Forms of Distributed Retrospectives
      1. 8.1.1 Multiple Distributed Teams
      2. 8.1.2 Teams with Singly Distributed Employees
      3. 8.1.3 Scattered Teams
    2. 8.2 The Right Tools
      1. 8.2.1 Web Whiteboard
      2. 8.2.2 Stormz Hangout
      3. 8.2.3 Lino
    3. 8.3 General Tips for Distributed Retrospectives
      1. 8.3.1 Keep It Short
      2. 8.3.2 Stay within the Timeframe
      3. 8.3.3 Use Stacking
      4. 8.3.4 Prepare the Participants
      5. 8.3.5 Use Communication Tools Effectively
      6. 8.3.6 Meet Regularly
    4. Summary
  20. Chapter 9 Alternative Approaches
    1. 9.1 Work Retrospectives
      1. 9.1.1 Set the Stage
      2. 9.1.2 Gather Data
      3. 9.1.3 Work Phase
      4. 9.1.4 Experiences
    2. 9.2 Fortune Cookie Retrospectives
    3. 9.3 Powerful Questions
    4. Summary
  21. Chapter 10 Typical Problems and Pitfalls
    1. 10.1 Poor Preparation
    2. 10.2 A Lot of Discussions but No Results
      1. 10.2.1 Conflicting Opinions
      2. 10.2.2 Indecision
      3. 10.2.3 Lack of a Clear Time Frame
    3. 10.3 Too Many Results
    4. 10.4 Disinterest in (Further) Improvement
      1. 10.4.1 Improvements Were Never Implemented
      2. 10.4.2 Improvements Have No Effect
      3. 10.4.3 The Team Was Not Given Enough Time
    5. 10.5 Focus on the Negative
    6. 10.6 Focus on Factual Topics
    7. Summary
  22. Chapter 11 Change Management
    1. 11.1 Agile Change Management
    2. 11.2 Initiating Change Processes
      1. 11.2.1 Set the Stage
      2. 11.2.2 Gather Data
      3. 11.2.3 Generate Insights
      4. 11.2.4 Next Experiments
      5. 11.2.5 Closing
    3. 11.3 Accompanying Change Processes
      1. 11.3.1 Set the Stage
      2. 11.3.2 Check Hypotheses
      3. 11.3.3 Gather Data
      4. 11.3.4 Generate Insights
      5. 11.3.5 Define Next Experiments
      6. 11.3.6 Closing
    4. Summary
  23. Index