Getting Retrospective Actions Done

I sometimes hear of teams that have stopped doing retrospectives because they didn’t see any improvements. When I talk with them it often turns out that they didn’t have good actions coming out of the retrospectives, or that the actions weren’t done and kept coming back in the retrospective. No actions leads to no improvement. Here are some suggestions on what you can do to assure that you will have actions from retrospectives that are doable and that those actions get done. Continue reading

Retrospective Prime Directive in nine languages

The retrospective prime directive is a sentence that is used by facilitators to establish safety in a retrospective meeting. Safety is crucial if you want people to speak up and be open, which is an important precondition to reflect and learn which is what agile retrospectives are all about. Since our book is being translated into many languages we now have translations of this unique and important statement. Continue reading

The Need for Continuous Improvement in Agile

QCon Beijing Logo

I gave a well received keynote at the QCon Beijing conference, in which I explained why continuous improvement is essential to deliver value with agile. QCon Beijing was the largest QCon conference so far with over 1600 attendants. Continue reading

What if we fail?

Danger Making Mistakes

People are often afraid to make mistakes. They do things to prevent that something might go wrong and avoid doing things that might fail. And if it does go wrong then they don’t talk about it. Is it really bad if once in a while something goes wrong? If something can go wrong, let arrange for it to happen as soon as possible, because then you can quickly learn from it. Create a culture where failure is allowed so that we can all learn from it and find ways to make fewer mistakes! Continue reading

Guest blog: Retrospective Doughnut! A fun way to measure team’s response to Retrospectives.

Retrospective Doughnuts can be used to make the adoption rate of retrospectives and the value that they deliver visible. This support organizations in using retrospectives to establish a routine feedback loop leading to continuous improvement. A guest blog post from Mukyul Vyas. Continue reading

Why Doing Nothing Can Be the Best Thing To Do

Here’s a story of a team that had a serious problem which it didn’t recognize at first. The program manager and agile coach who saw the problem decided not to intervene. They provided space to the team to fail, learn from its mistake, and take action. The story shows that sometimes doing nothing can be the best thing that you can do to implement lasting change in organizations. Continue reading

Agile needs coaching

I see organizations who hire a bunch of coaches when they are transitioning to agile. Management assumes that since they’ve hired the best coaches that they can pay, the transition will go smoothly and quickly. In practice it often doesn’t, and organizations are not getting the benefits that they expected from agile. Blaming agile and saying that it doesn’t work doesn’t solve the problem. When your agile transformation isn’t going that smoothly, chances are big that there are problems with the approach that is used for doing coaching in your organization. Continue reading

How Futurespectives Help Teams to Reach Their Goals

Many agile teams are doing retrospectives at the end of their iterations to reflect on their way of working and find things that can be improved. But what if teams are starting up and trying to figure out how to do their work? A futurespective exercise can help teams teams to find ways to reach their goals, agree upon their way of working and define a Definition of Done. Continue reading

A Retrospective of 2014 and Futurespective of 2015

2014 was a great year for me. I’ve helped organization to effectively deploy Agile and Lean and improve their ways of working, my first book became a bestseller and I’ve inspired professionals all around the world by sharing useful knowledge and experience on my blog and via InfoQ. Let’s reflect on what 2014 has brought and do a futurespective to visualize the opportunities of 2015. Continue reading

Retrospectives in Remote Teams

When you are working with an agile team where people are not co-located you still want to do valuable agile retrospectives. As gathering everybody in one location for the retrospective is not feasible, you need to take a different approach. The dispersed team questions retrospective exercise is a variant of the questions-based retrospective for teams consisting of members working from different locations, for example team members working from home or working in different offices, countries or even continents. Continue reading

Guest blog: Classifying Retrospectives to get the best of it

Retrospective is a special time dedicated to analyse the strength and weakness of the teamwork process. There is already some well known tools used to animate this meeting and we tend to use often the same kind of exercise, which can lead to demotivation among the team members and to the feeling of not being able to improve anything anymore. We need to go back to the initial goal of the retrospective : getting better together, by using the collective intelligence and by ensuring the involvement of every team member as much in the creative process as in its application. Continue reading