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Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great Paperback – August 5, 2006
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"Two of the software industry’s leading facilitators have taken their many years of retrospective experience and distilled them into an approachable reference for agile team leaders. For all of the self-made facilitators out there who have been winging it, this book will provide a solid foundation to improve the effectiveness of your iteration, release, and project retrospectives."
—Dave Hoover, Lead Consultant, Agile Practices Obtiva Corp.
"Esther Derby and Diana Larsen have written the definitive book on agile retrospectives. You don’t have to be an agile team to take advantage of their book; you only have to want to improve. Follow their advice and your teams will be more successful."
About the Author
A founder of FutureWorks Consulting in Portland, Oregon, Diana Larsen partners with leaders around the world to design work systems, improve team performance, and transition to Agile methods. Diana co-authored Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great and Quickstart Guide to Five Rules for Accelerated Learning. She also co-created the influential Agile Fluency model.
Top Customer Reviews
I had no idea there were so many different approaches to getting value via retrospectives. The activities are all simple, and illustrated with many figures and examples. Even if you're not very experienced at leading these types of meetings, the book will give you confidence.
The authors also explain when and why to do different types of retrospectives. For example, I hadn't thought of having project retrospectives for our agile team, since we already have iteration retrospectives, but now I can see how they can be managed for good effect. Most importantly, the book explains how to use the information and ideas produced in a retrospective to effect real change. It's easy to get complacent and not strive to do better, and this book will help your team be proactive.
The book's organization makes it a good reference guide too. Anytime your team is in a rut or having a problem, you could pick an activity out of this book to kick start things. I love user-friendly books such as this one.
Ultimately, I was left convinced (as probably all who have done iterative could easily be) that retrospectives are a good thing, but a strong conviction that they could be done better than what is being espoused here. There are a few good ideas, and the overall presentation is good. That's all.
From the first few pages we know the authors are speaking from their vast experience, sharing knowledge on how to install iterative retrospectives in a team's process. Their book is written in an easy-to-read manner and leaves nothing out: it includes examples from real retrospectives, a theory of iterative retrospective design as well as a number of carefully designed exercises.
I'm not surprised that the authors could make clear such a difficult topic, blending insight from a number of fields and writing specifically for software teams. For more than a decade, Esther and Diana have been teaching the techniques and helping leading edge companies from all over the world implement retrospectives.
This is a must read book for anyone serious about making the Agile approach work, and then work better and better. Why? Because an Agile approach deployed right out of the book or course is likely to be a poor fit for your specific environment. Agile needs to be fine-tuned for your teams strengths, skills, challenges and goals. The iterative retrospective is the widely proven technique to make these crucial adjustments. There is no better book on the topic.
If you are like me, you have found that traditional "lessons learned" meetings after projects were held rarely, and a rarer number of these actually generated anything of any impact on future work. In some of my readings about Agile Software Development, I read that Agile Teams have retrospectives regularly with each iteration. I thought this was interesting, but didn't really know what to do. Enter this book.
The authors do a great job of outlining how the process should work and why each of the phases of are important. The give good coverage of
* Setting the Stage
* Gathering Information
* Generating Insights
* Deciding What to Do
* Closing the Retrospective
Not only do they explain the general process, but they give a fairly extensive list of activities to use for each phase with suggestions about which ones work in different situations. After reading this book, I was able to immediately turn around and facilitate a rertrospective for my team's latest project release.
This book is about all that you could ask for. The material is rich, but the amount of material is fairly short and quick to read. It is very focused and clear on how to take action. I would recommend investing in this book to anyone who wants to do a better job of *truly* learning from past project experience.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed this book. I read it in its entirety. Lots of great suggestions for different ways to make your retrospectives an environment where the Team feels comfortable... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Anonymous
If you want to improve retrospectives OR start your retrospectives, this is a great book. Great ways to keep it fresh too. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Mark W Rice
Easy to read and understand. Hard to internalize. It's a good guide for coaches and leaders.Published 9 months ago by jucompe
There are a lot of Agile books out there these days, this one is definitely worth picking up.
Retrospectives! Read more
Great book, i learned a lot of things new, well explained and also good examples.Published 14 months ago by Alfonso G. C.
Very informative and worth investing the time to read her book.Published 15 months ago by Michael clewley