Agile Retrospective Resources
There is a lot of information out there are agile retrospectives. I have a number of articles on them and there are plenty of places with information including blogs, websites, and books.
My Articles About Agile Retrospectives
These are articles I’ve written on retrospectives
- Retrospectives Improve Team Relationships: An summary of agile team retrospectives and the value of them.
- Lessons-Learned vs Project Retrospectives: Looks at different types of retrospectives and how project retrospectives are different from the the idea of a lessons-learned meeting.
- Bad Standard: Plus-Minus-Delta Agile Retrospectives: I discuss my confusion on this type of format being a “standard” and why I don’t like it.
- The Real Baseline Agile Retrospective Format: What is the real baseline format for agile retrospectives — and why does it work.
- Focusing Agile Retrospectives: What are your retrospectives focused on? Are you focusing on an event, a short or long time span, or using the future to focus?
- Why Project Retrospectives Are Challenging: Explores many of the core issues of project retrospectives with ideas to consider if you need or want to run one. What can you focus on? What can you consider?
- What is Not Being Said? Agile Safari cartoon and retrospective idea. What is not being talked about in the room?
Other Articles about Agile Retrospectives
- 16 Ways to Explain What an Agile Retrospective is by Luis Gonçalves
- Retrospectives In Your Own Sweet Way by Olga Kouzina: I like this article because he talks about a lot of the core concepts of retrospectives, has many real examples, and most importantly talks about the idea that you should experiment and try things. All of the books, articles, and blogs in the world are great, but if you do not try things and learn – you will never get started on the journey.
Agile Retrospective Books
- Getting Value Out of Agile Retrospectives by Ben Linders and Luis Gonçalves (forward by Esther Derby) includes a number of agile retrospective exercise formats as well as a section on the business value of agile retrospectives, steps for pre-work and more. A great place to get a well rounded overview of retros and a number of exercise ideas.
- The Retrospective Handbook by Patrick Kua (also on Amazon) (forward by Diana Larsen) covers a great deal of ideas and information about retrospectives and digs into more details surrounding retrospectives. I recommend this book as well for anyone looking to start to get into more of reasoning and background beyond retrospectives.
- Agile Retrospectives – Making Good Teams Great a book by Diana Larsen and Esther Derby: This book contains a ton of great ideas for retrospectives.
- Fun Retrospectives [book] by the same folks who have the website noted below. [They are selling it on Leanpub, which allows you to choose your price AND see what the authors make.]
Agile Retrospectives Formats
Here are a few links to ideas of different retrospective formats.
- Retrospective Wiki – This is a wiki setup by Rob Bowley. In his words “This is a resource for sharing retrospective plans, tips & tricks, tools and ideas to help us get the most out of our retrospectives. Retrospectives play a crucial role in software teams. They are the time specifically put aside to reflect on how the team is performing and what can be done to improve.”
- Fun Retrospectives – They have a website with a number of options from a safety check, to other check-ins, as well as plenty of other retrospective options. Many of these are scattered around the web and in some of the books listed farther down this article as well. I like the idea of having them accessible via the web to get the ideas flowing. They have some such as the pre-mortum (all things that could go wrong), which I’ve used, although I just made it up for a client a while back. So you will see there are many ideas there that you can expand on, see pictures of, and you might even see some you have used in some format or another.
- Retr-o-Mat: This site by Corinna Baldauf has almost 100 activities in multiple languages. You can also add your own activity.
- Retrospective Dialogue Sheets are worksheets that a team or group can use as a tool to facilitate a retrospective.”At its simplest a Dialogue Sheet Retrospective consists of eight people sitting around a dialogue sheet and discussing the questions on the sheet for between one and two hours. At the end of this time the team have completed the retrospective and have some actions to start work on.” There is a video you can watch to explain more about them or you can subscribe to download them for free. If you want to try one without signing up, try this Retrospective Dialogue Sheet [used with permission]. They have a number of different types, include a Team Startup Dialogue Sheet and many more!
- Actions Centered Retrospective by Nick Oostvogels: I like the layout and have used this in a number of situations. He also talks about other retrospective topics.
- Wheel of Change Retrospective by Peter Green based on Marshall Goldsmiths’ framework for change that he calls the Wheel of Change.
- Tasty Cupcakes: Various retrospective and facilitation exercises
- International Association of Facilitators Methods Library: Various facilitation methods
If you have ideas for agile retrospective resources that you believe should be on this list, let me know and I’ll take a look at them!