Sankofa bird - “go back + fetch it”
What is a Retrospective?
A meeting where a team looks back on
a past period of work so that they can
learn from their experience and apply
this learning to future projects
Pioneered by Norm Kerth
“Without retrospectives you will
find that the team keeps
making the same mistakes
over and over again.”
What happened? What to change?
Structure Flow of Conversation
From “Agile Coaching” book
If team is not clear on what to do then nothing happens
Ideas must connect to experience and translate to action.
• People will not talk if you do
not listen to them
• Invite everyone to share what
• Take time to gather the whole
• Involve each member of the
Living in the past
Look back but also take time to look forward.
Forget about making lists of what went well, etc.
Thinking too big!
Be realistic! How much can you really take on?
Before creating any new
actions, see if old
actions are Done.
Take time to understand
why actions are not
Don’t waste time blaming!
Take a systems view to look for improvements.
Make Time for Ideas
Encourage ideas from
Consider more than one
What steps will be taken towards
solving the problem?
Who will check up to make sure
the action is implemented?
Make actions visible:
– Allow time in plan
– Review progress
– Care if no change happens
Beware of Invisible Actions
Actions from retrospective need to be visible to team and
When no one on team champions a change, it gets forgotten
Always the Same Owner
One person takes on actions for the team rather than
supporting team to do actions themselves.
Summary of Retrospective Smells
• Same set of actions come up but not done
– Vague, no owner, too big
• Not touching real issues
• If this continues then you waste time of
Experiment with your Retrospectives!
• Retrospectives are
about learning from
• Experiment and adapt
the format to
generate new insights