March 17th is St Patrick's Day - Let's Have a Retrospective

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May every rainbow follow rain, may all shamrocks grow wild on the plain.

Today is the day we celebrate Irish culture in America.  There are parades, green beer, the river in Chicago is dyed green and of course lots of corned beef and cabbage.  Saint Patrick is credited with driving all the snakes out of Ireland.  Or as it is called in modern times – a retrospective.

Retrospectives are a way of looking back at the accomplishments and failures of a project or sprint.  Retrospectives are designed to answer the questions:

  • What went well?  
  • What didn’t go well?  
  • What still dumbfounds us?

There are a lot of snakes in your sprint and project.  I’m not talking about actual snakes or people here.  Process and systems that didn’t’ work as effectively as they could.  You need the retrospective to look back to figure out those processes and systems that didn’t work as effectively as they should.  Identify them and figure out approaches to improve the situations and outcomes in the next sprint of the project.  Don’t go crazy, just pick the most impact top 3 to focus on – not them all.

Are you doing retrospectives?  What questions do you ask in your retrospectives?  Now go out and have a great St. Patrick's Day!