A retrospective is a ritual gathering of a community at the end of a project to review the events and learn from the experience. No one knows the whole story of the project. Each person has a piece of the story. The retrospective ritual is the collective telling of the story and mining the experience for wisdom.
First, set the stage
- The setting should be such that regardless of what we discover, we understand that everyone did the best job he or she could.
Second, gather data.
- This is often done by looking back and identifying what went well and what did not.
Third, Generate insights.
- In this phase, teams typically identify why things happened and what should be done more, done less and tried out.
Fourth, decide what to do.
- This includes deciding on specific, meaningful, agreed and realistic actions that will be done in the next Sprint.
Fifth, close the retrospective.
Hints and Tips
- Include everyone who has a piece of the story to tell.
- Schedule adequate time to tell the story. A rushed ritual will do more harm than good.
- Make sure there is a facilitator, someone who was not involved with the project, to lead the ritual.