During our November meeting of the Ottawa Scrum Users Group, I talked a bit about how retrospectives should be used to do more than just discover things that aren’t working well and ways to improve them. Often a team can identify problems but do not have the ability to make the changes to correct the problem for various organizational reasons.
The alternate approach is to instead concentrate on the bright spots. These are the things that are working well and overcoming challenges. If you can replicate the conditions and settings that produce these successes, then you may not need to address the things that are getting in your way.
The Ottawa Scrum Users Group recently held a Meetup on the topic of retrospectives. I presented a number of ideas (Powerpoint) that have led to our successful implementation of retrospectives at Embotics and discussed those in the context of some ideas from books on retrospectives and change.
Whenever we talk at these Meetups about adopting agile practices, my first response is that it all begins from the retrospectives. If an organization can examine how they are doing and find ways to make steady improvements, then they can greatly change how they work in positive and highly productive ways. There are simple ways to kickstart this process and then adapt locally as things begin to click.
Summary: In knowledge worker industries, extrinsic motivations such as monetary rewards can reduce what people can accomplish. Instead, we need to consider three simple things that truly motivate people: autonomy, mastery, and purpose.
Intended Audience: Those who lead others; anyone who want to get more out of their careers
Summary: Change is hard because there is conflict between the rational side of your mind that understands why a change is necessary and the emotional side of your mind that is comfortable with the current situation. There are paths to resolve this conflict and allow change to occur.
Intended Audience: Agents of change; people seeking change but are unable to do so; those concerned about people facing corporate changes
Summary: The seminal explanation of Extreme Programming (XP), including the problems it addresses, its fundamental philosophies, and how these philosophies can be implemented in software development organization.
Intended Audience: Any and every development team member, agile or not; those who support and lead these teams