Project retrospectives –more than a lessons learned activity
What is a project retrospective?retrospective (rèt´re-spèk-tîv) -- a ritual held at the end of aproject to learn from the experience and to plan changes forthe next effort.No one knows the whole story of theproject. Each person has a piece ofthe story. The retrospective is thecollective story telling and miningthe experience for wisdom. It is anextremely productive method forimproving the developmentpractices. Look back to the past but learn for the future!
What is not a project retrospective?It’s definitely not about- finding the guilty one or aboutfingerpointing …- blaming someone else …- endless discussions …
A common structureNormally, a project retrospective follows thefollowing steps:• Analyze the Project. The project isreviewed from a number of different aspectsto understand the important events thatoccurred.• Generate Insights. The specifics about whatwent well and what can be improved on thenext project are captured.• Create Action Plans. A plan is createdoutlining the tasks, deliverables, timelines andowners for implementing the changes.
The varietySize: from a 1 hour session in a meeting room to a big event on 2days in a seminar hotel - everything is possibleWhen: at the end of the project / after reaching milestones / at theend of certain project phasesHow: special event to close the learning loop / integrated part of theprocess (like in Scrum)Method: plenty of facilitation techniques can be used to keepretrospectives interesting, useful and effective
Success factors• have a contracting with the sponsor: define the goals clearly wellin advance, get to know the project circumstances and specifics• follow the structure shown above: it gives the project team a tried-and-true process for the inspection and the learning• have a facilitator, someone who was not involved in the project• invite every stakeholder who participated in the project
The Single Most Important Element in MakingRetrospectives Happen is…
The Single Most Important Element in MakingRetrospectives Happen is… Someone decides to make retrospectives happen in their organization
Literature: Norman L. Kerth: Esther Derby /Project Retrospectives Diana Larsen: Agile retrospectives – Making Good Teams Great
Contact:Horváth ErvinSiemens PSE Kft.1143 BudapestGizella út 51-57.Telefon: +36 1 471 3128E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org