Iteration Retrospectives are the structured reflective practice to learn and improve based on what has already been done. The purpose of retrospection is to examine the process the team uses, to build team commitment, and to transfer knowledge to the next iteration and possibly to other teams.
Retrospections must be done at the end of every iteration. A briefer version, the After Action Review can be done at any time, whenever there is value for the team to stop and learn from what has been done and change while it still helps work.
Why to do this practice
During each iteration, during every activity, the people doing work should help each other think about quality issues. Be explicit about what is required without trying to solve the problem (which is the responsibility of people who will receive stories or tasks to do).
Improving quality involves discipline and mutual commitment. Lean techniques – such as retrospections, keeping a clean environment, testing, and a correct use of patterns and code quality – help, but only when the team uses them regularly.
One of the principles of Lean-Agile is to create knowledge. Team Agility Coaches should be sharing lessons (sanitized if need be) with fellow Team Agility Coaches through their community of practice. In fact, this should be part of the assessment of their performance.
Who does this practice
Here are roles involved in this practice:
What to do
Inputs to the retrospective include:
At the end of each iteration, the whole team conducts a retrospection, facilitated by the Team Agility Coach. The key question is, “If we could do it again, what would we keep doing and what would we improve?”
To answer this, the team discusses the following:
Some organizations boil these down into three broad questions: “What?”, “So What?”, and “Now What?”
The retrospective should be facilitated. See Facilitate the Iteration Retrospective.
The Iteration Retrospective should result in one to three stories for the next iteration reflecting a “vital few” improvements to the process
When to do this practice
Here is when to do this practice:
The Iteration Retrospective should be time-boxed to 30 minutes.
Where to do this practice
Here is where to do this practice:
The benefits of this practice include:
Impediments to progress that are outside of the team’s control are naturally escalated to management and others who can do something about them.