Successful retrospectives

Writing the Value, Flow, Quality educational content we are always looking out for good case studies to support our research. The session on Feedback talks, among other things, about retrosepctives so we set out to find good examples of organisations running successful retrospectives. This has sparked an interesting question on twitter – how could we define successful retrospectives?

I’m sure that every time you join a retrospective you have a very clear impression of its success afterwards. Did we have a good discussion; did we discover some interesting insights; did we create sensible and achiveble actions; Did we have a good time; These will all contribute to the impression of success. On the other hand, if we were bored, or felt forced to attend, if the discussion points felt obvious and the actions looked deceptively similar to the ones last week, and the week before – the chances are we wouldn’t rate the outcome highly. For me, it is important that we feel our participation in a retrospective is worthwile and valuable. We should run retrospectives which feel successful to participants.

However, this is only one aspect of retrospectives and personal satisfaction doesn’t necesarily translate into organisational success of our retrospectives. I would like to explore what you think about success criteria for organisational success. To spark the discussion I’ll put my initial throughts in the first comment. I welcome you to join me and explore this interesting question together:

What are successful retrospectives?


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