One of my colleagues at ThoughtWorks published his first book last year called the Retrospective Handbook. It’s a great tool for people thinking about facilitating or wanting to hone their skills facilitating Agile retrospectives.
I thought it was great… I’ve listed out here some of the things that the book covers that I really liked.
- The right context for Retrospectives
- The effect that team dynamics and environment have on the success of a retrospective
- Lots of practical advice
- How to prepare and set up a retrospective. Right down to the kinds of pens and paper best to use.
- Lots of examples of language to use in specific situations
- The importance of independent facilitators and advice on what to do if thats not possible and a team member facilitates.
- Great tips for facilitators
- How to help achieve equal participation from everyone.
- How to handle anti-patterns from participants
- Importance of observing body language as a facilitator and realising that there are many more things to ‘listen to’ of you participants that just what they are speaking out loud.
- A whole section on Distributed Retrospectives
- Your job is not done once people have left the room. There are a bunch of necessary things that need to get done after the retro is over.
- 8 Common retrospective smells