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More Effective Retrospectives

23 Antipatterns to Avoid

Aino Vonge Corry

Have you facilitated retrospectives, and found it difficult to engage people, to motivate people, to make people participate, to make people listen to you and to each other? Join Aino in this workshop on advanced retrospective facilitation. She will base the workshop on your challenges and give you activities, tips and pointers on how to develop a skill-set that makes retrospectives useful, and fun. We will touch on subjects such as body language, psychology, team building, decision making, structuring meetings in general, and distributed retrospectives, based on Aino's extensive experience and research.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

  • Plan and structure a retrospective
  • Plan and facilitate a successful online retrospective
  • React to challenges in a retrospective, e.g. different personality types and cultures

This training course is for you because...

  • Retrospective Facilitators
  • Team leaders
  • Anyone participating in meetings of any kind


  • You have participated in a retrospective
  • You have facilitated a retrospective

Course Set-up - The course will make use of the MURAL visual workspace that helps you design together - A link will be provided directly to the course materials on the Mural site (app.mural.co) You do not need to create an account in advance

Recommended Preparation - Agile Retrospectives (Book) Diana Larsen and Esther Derby https://learning.oreilly.com/library/view/agile-retrospectives/9781680500295/

Recommended Follow-up - Retrospective Antipatterns (Book) Aino Vonge Corry (Due Summer of 2020)

About your instructor

  • Aino Vonge Corry is a teacher, a technical conference editor and retrospectives facilitator. She holds a masters degree and a ph.d. in computer science. She has 12 years of experience with Patterns in Software Development, and 10+ years’ experience with facilitation of retrospectives. For the past 5 years she has been focused on facilitating the agile journey for several companies in Denmark. She also teaches how to teach Computer Science to teachers, and thus lives up to the name of her company; Metadeveloper. In her spare time, she runs and sings (but not at the same time).


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing

Segment 1: Introduction to the course Length (20 min)

  • Introduction to the instructor
  • Interactive discussion with the group about the challenges they have encountered
  • Overview of the course outline (may be modified based on the group discussion)

Segment 2: Retrospectives and meetings; what is the difference? Length (25 min)

  • Structure of meetings
  • Structure of retrospectives
  • An overview of typical challenges

Exercise/activity description: A quiz about challenges the participants have encountered and potential solutions they may have tried

Break (15 min)

Segment 3: Antipatterns #1 Length (45 min)

  • Prime Directive Ignorance
  • Wheel of Fortune
  • DIY retrospectives
  • In the Soup

Break (15 min)

Segment 4 Antipatterns #2 Length (20 min)

  • The Disillusioned Facilitator
  • The Loudmouth
  • The Silent One
  • The Curious Manager

Segment 5 Antipatterns for distributed retrospectives Length (25 min)

  • Disregard of preparation
  • Cultures in retrospectives
  • Dead Silent

Exercise/activity description (Question about the next step from the audience, what do YOU want to do differently)

Wrap up and next steps Length (15 min)