Retrospective Principles

I’ve talked about the goals of a retrospective. Now I’d like to talk about four principles of effective retrospectives. I generally find that principles help me more to be effective while doing my work than do definitions. Principles help to connect the abstract to the actual practice.

One of the principles is that it’s important to understand the goals. If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there. That road is, however, unlikely to be a retrospective. As a facilitator, I find the general goals helpful in planning a retrospective. I think that the specific goals are valuable to the participants, and generally discuss them as part of Setting the Stage at the beginning of the retrospective. As always, this is moderated by the understanding of the participants and the time available. (Continued)