Book: Getting Value out of Agile Retrospectives

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A Toolbox of Retrospective Exercises

Book Cover: Book: Getting Value out of Agile Retrospectives
ISBN: 1304789624
Pages: 74
ISBN: 9789492119070
Pages: 74
ISBN: 9781304789624
Size: 6.00 x 9.00 in
Pages: 74

Getting Value out of Agile Retrospectives helps you and your teams to do retrospectives effectively and efficiently. It's a toolbox with many exercises for facilitating retrospectives, supported with the "what" and "why" of retrospectives, the business value and benefits that they bring, and advice for introducing and improving retrospectives.

If you are a Scrum master, agile coach, project manager, product manager or facilitator then this book helps you to discover and apply new ways to do Valuable Agile Retrospectives with your teams. With plenty of exercises you can develop your own personal Retrospectives Toolbox to become more proficient in doing retrospectives and get more out of them.

Reviews:Lisa Crispin on Amazon wrote:

You’ll find a lot of useful information to introduce, improve or just give variety to your team’s retrospectives, in a quick and concise format. Each exercise is described using a template that includes what to expect, when to use the exercise, and how to do it. For each exercise, the authors discuss whether it will work for distributed teams, and give tips for tools that would help.

For some exercises, the authors mention different options. For example, the car brand exercise could be done with using something other than a car brand to describe the iteration. You can adjust these activities to fit your team’s level of experience and preferences.

As you read about the exercises, you’ll learn things to be aware of, what the exercise might expose, so you can be prepared. For example, the value stream mapping exercise may reveal a “testing/documentation tail” or mini-waterfall disorder.

The book includes short exercises that can be used to open a retro and help participants feel more comfortable and safe. There are also exercises that should be done during the iteration, and then discussed at the next retrospective.

Though the book is concise, the authors take time to explain terms and provide references to further reading, including books by Esther Derby, Diana Larsen, Lyssa Adkins and Jean Tabaka. The exercises draw from a wide range of agile practices and frameworks, including Lean and Scrum.

The back of the book has some of the most useful material, explaining how to adopt retrospectives, good ways to introduce them, and the importance of having capable facilitators.

Try the exercises in this book whether your team is new to retrospectives, new to agile in general, or quite experienced with agile and retros but in need of a refreshing change. In my experience, shaking ourselves up with a new game or exercise brings out new observations and leads to important experiments for improvement.

Gojko Adzic on Amazon wrote:

This nice little book, which can be read in less than two hours from cover to cover, is packed with great facilitation ideas for retrospectives. People tasked with facilitating team retrospectives, such as agile coaches or Scrum masters, will benefit the most from the book as it contains several great ideas for organising and troubleshooting retrospectives. I particularly like that each facilitation idea comes with enough context so that readers can know when to use and when not to use which technique.

Jason Little on Amazon wrote:

I just finished this book, it's a must-have reference guide for any facilitator, not just Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches. What sets this book apart is that each section has a "when to use this technique" and detailed instructions for how to do it. It's an easy read and a perfect pocket companion.

Linda Rising on Amazon wrote:

It's wonderful to see the arrival of yet another small but mighty book. It can be read in an evening and it will give you some fresh ideas to implement in your own retrospectives. Yes, of course, if you need the fundamentals, you'd better start with Norm Kerth's Project Retrospectives and then follow up with Esther Derby and Diana Larsen's Agile Retrospectives and Patrick Kua's Retrospective Handbook. But this publication is the icing on the cake. You will enjoy it and also find it useful -- a great combo!

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About 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.
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  • Ben Linders – Independent Consultant Agile, Lean, Quality, and Continuous Improvement

    Ben Linders
    Ik help organisaties om effectiever software te ontwikkelen. Neem contact op voor mijn diensten.

    I help organizations to effectively develop software. Contact me to hear about my services.