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Retrospectives, Part 2: In a Sentimental Mood

by Olga Kouzina, 16 January 2013 | The Agile Blogosphere

This post is from Edge of Chaos | Agile Development Blog by Olga Kouzina. Click here to see the original post in full.

In the first part of the series on agile retrospectives, I mostly focused on the visual inventory as I went over the reports and charts we’ve been using at TargetProcess, along with some stuff from other people. I’ve also given an outline of the heuristic, trial-and-error approach as the essential methodological foundation for running retrospectives.

In the second part, it’s time to look into the secret nuts and bolts of what actually makes retrospective meetings work. I’m stepping out to embrace a broader picture, as the subject of company culture — it’s exactly about the quality of this oil that makes the retrospective engines run — is limitless. It can’t be reduced to a few worn-out, cliched how-to adages.

Maturity and the culture of trust

A team has to be mature enough to hold retrospectives. One of the common pitfalls is when teams are eager to run retrospectives just for the sake of running retrospectives. They know that if they are supposed to be agile, they need to do retrospectives. But it’s not as simple as following a guideline. The need has to come from within. The team has to develop this intrinsic feeling of power to solve their problems and – even more important – to accept the responsibility.

So how would you know if a team is mature enough to run...

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