Retrospective Prime Directive in many languages

The retrospective prime directive is a sentence used by facilitators to establish safety in agile retrospective meetings. Safety is crucial if you want people to speak up and be open, which is an important precondition to reflect and learn; and that’s what agile retrospectives are all about.

The Retrospective Prime Directive

Norman Kerth described the retrospective prime directive in his book Project Retrospectives – A Handbook for Team Reviews:

Regardless of what we discover, we understand and truly believe that everyone did the best job they could, given what they knew at the time, their skills and abilities, the resources available, and the situation at hand.

Being together at the 2015 Retrospective Facilitators Gathering (#rfg2015) with many experienced facilitators reminded me of how important it is to create safety when doing agile retrospectives.

In our book Getting Value out of Agile Retrospectives, we refer to the prime directive as an effective way to establish safety in agile retrospectives.

Translations of The Prime Directive

As our book has been translated into many languages we now have translations of this unique and important statement. You can find them below (in alphabetical order):

Afrikaans

Dit maak nie saak wat ons ontdek nie, ons verstaan en glo heeltemal dat almal die beste werk gedoen het wat hulle kon, gegee wat hulle geweet het op die tyd, die vaardighede en moontlikhede, hulpbronne beskikbaar, en die omstandighede van die dag.

Belarusian

Незалежна ад таго, што мы высвятляем, мы павiнны разумець i шчыра верыць, што кожны робiць усе магчымае, улiчваючы вядомую iнфармацыю, яго (яе) навыкi i магчымасцi, даступныя рэсурсы, а таксама абставiны, якiя склалiлiся на дадзены момант.

Brazillian Portuguese

Independentemente do que descobrirmos, nós entendemos e verdadeiramente acreditamos que todos fizeram o melhor trabalho possível, dado o que eles sabiam no momento, suas capacidades e habilidades, os recursos disponíveis e a situação enfrentada.

中文 (Chinese)

无论我们揭示了什么,我们必须理解并真正相信:考虑到当时的已知情况、每个人的技能和能力、可用资源和情境,每个人都做到了最好。

hrvatski (Croatian)

Neovisno o tome što ćemo otkriti, a s obzirom na ono što smo trenutačno znali, na naše vještine i sposobnosti, na resurse kojima smo raspolagali, i na situaciju u kojoj smo se našli, mi razumijemo i istinski vjerujemo da je svatko od nas činio najbolje što je mogao.

Danish

Uanset hvad vi finder ud af, forstår vi og stoler vi på, at alle gjorde deres bedste, i betragtning af det de vidste på det tidspunkt, deres færdigheder og evner, de tilgængelige ressourcer og den aktuelle situation.

Deutsch

Unabhängig davon was wir entdecken werden, verstehen und glauben wir aufrichtig, dass in der gegebenen Situation, mit dem verfügbaren Wissen und Ressourcen und unseren individuellen Fähigkeiten, jeder sein bestes getan hat.

español

Independientemente de lo que descubramos, debemos entender y creer de verdad que todo el mundo hace el mejor trabajo que él o ella podría, dado lo que se sabía en ese momento, sus habilidades y capacidades, los recursos disponibles y la situación actual.

Finnish

Huolimatta siitä, mitä nyt löydämme, ymmärrämme ja todella uskomme, että jokainen teki parhaansa ottaen huomioon sen hetkiset tiedot, taidot ja kyvyt, käytettävissä olleet resurssit ja vallinnut tilanne.

français

Peu importe ce que l’on découvre, nous devons comprendre et vraiment croire que chacun a fait le meilleur travail qu’il ou elle peut selon ce qui était connu à ce moment, ses aptitudes et capacités, les ressources disponibles et le contexte du moment.

Magyar (Hungarian)

Függetlenül attól, hogy mit tárunk fel, értjük és teljes meggyőződéssel hisszük, hogy mindenki a tőle telhető legjobb munkát végezte, figyelembe véve az akkori ismereteit, tudását, képességeit, a rendelkezésre álló erőforrásokat és az adott szituációt.

italiano

Indipendentemente da ciò che scopriamo, dobbiamo capire e credere davvero che ognuno fa del suo meglio, rispetto alle conoscenze attuali, alle sue competenze e abilità, le risorse disponibili e la situazione corrente.

日本 (Japanese)

それは、「私たちが何を見つけたとしても、その時点で分かっているスキルや能力、利用可能なリソース、手元の状況を用いて、誰もが自分のできる最高の仕事をすることを、私たちは理解し、心から信じています。」ということです。

Nederlands

Ongeacht wat we ontdekken, moeten we begrijpen en er op vertrouwen dat iedereen het uiterste heeft gedaan om zijn of haar werk te doen, binnen de grenzen van de kennis van het moment, zijn of haar vaardigheden en capaciteiten, de beschikbare middelen en de situatie zoals die was.

polskie

Niezależnie od wniosków do jakich dojdziemy, rozumiemy i wierzymy, że każdy wykonał swoją pracę najlepiej jak mógł w zastanej sytuacji, dysponując swoją wiedzą i umiejętnościami.

русский (Russian)

Вне зависимости от того что будет обнаружено, мы должны понимать и искренне верить, что каждый из нас выполнил свою работу настолько хорошо, насколько мог, с учетом знаний, доступных на тот момент, его или её умений и возможностей, имеющихся ресурсов и текущей ситуации.

Sesotho

Ho sa kgatheletsehe hore re fumana eng, re a tshepa mme re dumela hore motho emong le emong o entse mosebetsi o makgethe ka mokgwa oo ba ka kgonang, re shebile seo ba se tsebang ka nako eo, thupello le bokgoni ba bona, mehlodi eo ba kgonang ho e fumana, le se etsahalang ka eo nako.

Swedish

Oavsett vad vi upptäcker, förstår och tror vi att alla verkligen gjorde det bästa jobb de kunde, med tanke på vad de visste då, deras färdigheter och förmågor, tillgängliga resurser och den aktuella situationen.

Turkish

Ne keşfedeceğimizden bağımsız olarak, herkesin, o dönemde bildikleri, yetenek ve becerileriyle müsait olan kaynaklarla ve eldeki durumla yapabileceklerinin en iyisini yaptığını anlıyor ve gerçekten inanıyoruz.

Ukrainian

Незалежно від того, про що ми дізналися, ми розуміємо і щиро віримо, що всі виконували роботу якнайкраще, враховуючи те, що вони знали на цей час, їх навики та уміння, наявні ресурси, і ситуацію, що склалася.

Vietnamese

Bất kể những gì chúng ta khám phá, chúng ta hiểu và thực sự tin rằng mọi người đều đã làm tốt nhất có thể, với những gì họ biết, hết khả năng của họ, và nguồn lực sẵn có tại thời điểm đó

I want to, again, thank Norman Kerth for coming up with the prime directive for retrospectives. It aims to help teams to establish safety in the agile retrospective meeting.

I’m providing the translations to make it possible for teams to do just that in their local language.

Credits for the Translations

A big thanks to all the teams of volunteers that have translated our book into many languages, you rock!

Thanks also to Konstantin Razumovsky, Professional Scrum Trainer at Scrum.org for the Belarusian translation, to Estevão Coelho for the Brazillian Portuguese translation, to Gábor Erényi from Sprint Consulting Llc for the Hungarian translation, to Berke Sokhan and Aras Dinler for the Turkish translation, to Duy Khánh for the Vietnamese translation, to Mladen Barešić for the Croatian translation, to Yuriy Protsiuk for the Ukrainian translation, to Stine Føns Nielsen for the Danish translation, to Tapio for the Finnish translation, Jonas for the Swedish translation, and to Paulesa for the Sesotho and Afrikaans translation of the prime directive.

If you have translated the prime directive and want to have that translation added, please leave a comment or contact me.

Please share this post to help teams doing agile retrospectives all around the world!

Retrospectives Facilitators Gathering

The Retrospectives Facilitators Gathering is a yearly invitation-only event where people from all around the world come together to share their experiences from doing agile retrospectives and sharpen their facilitation skills. I can highly recommend this event to everybody who does retrospectives, if you are interested then I suggest taking a look at their wiki at retrospectivefacilitatorgathering.org.

(This post has been updated on August 18, 2015: Belarusian and Russian translations added and July 10, 2018: Hungarian translation added, August 10, 2018: Vietnamese translation added, and August 27, 2018: Brazillian Portuguese translation added, and October 15, 2018: Turkish added, and March 2, 2019: Croatian added, and May 30, 2019: Ukrainian added, and November 21, 2019: Post fully revised and updated, and November 28 2020: Danish translation added, and December 21, 2020: Finnish translation added, and March 6, 2021, Swedish, Sesotho and Afrikaans added).

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Ben Linders

I help organizations with effective software development and management practices. Active member of several networks on Agile, Lean and Quality, and a frequent speaker and writer.

This Post Has 22 Comments

    1. BenLinders

      This is great! I wasn’t aware that it exists!

      Thanks for sharing this Fabrice 🙂

  1. DK

    Hi Ben,

    Can I provide you the text in Vietnamese version? I think it’d be helpful for everyone.
    Thanks

  2. Estevão Coelho

    Hello Ben,

    This is the portuguese version of the Prime Directive by Norm Keith.

    Best regards.

    “Independentemente do que descobrirmos, nós entendemos e verdadeiramente acreditamos que todos fizeram o melhor trabalho possível, dado o que eles sabiam no momento, suas capacidades e habilidades, os recursos disponíveis e a situação enfrentada.”

    1. Estevão Coelho

      Brazilian portuguese to be more precise

      1. Ben Linders

        Thanks Estevão for providing the Brazilian Portuguese translation of the Prime Directive. I have added it!

  3. Berke Sokhan

    Hello Ben, here is the Turkish version:

    “Ne keşfedeceğimizden bağımsız olarak, herkesin, o dönemde bildikleri, yetenek ve becerileriyle müsait olan kaynaklarla ve eldeki durumla yapabileceklerinin en iyisini yaptığını anlıyor ve gerçekten inanıyoruz.”

    Shootout to Aras Dinler for his help with translation.

  4. Berke Sokhan

    “Shootout” -> “shout out” lol. Appreciate if an admin corrects it.

  5. Mladen Barešić

    Hello, Ben! I’d like to contribute with Croatian version (hrvatski (Croatian)):
    “Neovisno o tome što ćemo otkriti, a s obzirom na ono što smo trenutačno znali, na naše vještine i sposobnosti, na resurse kojima smo raspolagali, i na situaciju u kojoj smo se našli, mi razumijemo i istinski vjerujemo da je svatko od nas činio najbolje što je mogao.”
    Best regards!

    1. Ben Linders

      Thanks for the translation Mladen Barešić! Added it 🙂

  6. Stine Føns Nielsen

    A Danish version to add:
    Uanset hvad vi finder ud af, forstår vi og stoler vi på, at alle gjorde deres bedste, i betragtning af det de vidste på det tidspunkt, deres færdigheder og evner, de tilgængelige ressourcer og den aktuelle situation.

    1. Ben Linders

      Thank you Stine Føns Nielsen, Danish translation has been added!

  7. Tapio

    Finnish translation: “Huolimatta siitä, mitä nyt löydämme, ymmärrämme ja todella uskomme, että jokainen teki parhaansa ottaen huomioon sen hetkiset tiedot, taidot ja kyvyt, käytettävissä olleet resurssit ja vallinnut tilanne.”

    1. Ben Linders

      Thank you Tapio, I’ve added your translation to Finnish of the Prime Directive.

  8. Jonas

    Here is the swedish translation:
    Oavsett vad vi upptäcker, förstår och tror vi att alla verkligen gjorde det bästa jobb de kunde, med tanke på vad de visste då, deras färdigheter och förmågor, tillgängliga resurser och den aktuella situationen.

    1. Ben Linders

      Thanks Jonas for the Swedish version. Apologies that I didn’t spot it earlier, but now it’s added.

  9. Paulesa

    Here is the Sesotho translation:
    Ho sa kgatheletsehe hore re fumana eng, re a tshepa mme re dumela hore motho emong le emong o entse mosebetsi o makgethe ka mokgwa oo ba ka kgonang, re shebile seo ba se tsebang ka nako eo, thupello le bokgoni ba bona, mehlodi eo ba kgonang ho e fumana, le se etsahalang ka eo nako.

    Here is the Afrikaans translation:
    Dit maak nie saak wat ons ontdek nie, ons verstaan en glo heeltemal dat almal die beste werk gedoen het wat hulle kon, gegee wat hulle geweet het op die tyd, die vaardighede en moontlikhede, hulpbronne beskikbaar, en die omstandighede van die dag.

    1. Ben Linders

      Thanks Paulesa for the Sesotho and Afrikaans versions. I do like the 2nd one, being I Dutch I can also read and understand it. Thank you!

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