Using Data in Problem-Solving

Several years ago, I was called to help an organization that was experiencing system outages in their call center. After months of outages and no effective action, they appointed an Operations Analyst to collect data and get to the bottom of the problem. Once they had data, the managers met monthly to review it. At…

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Solving Symptoms

Recently, I attended two retrospectives.  Different teams, different states, different facilitators. I’m usually on the other side, leading retrospectives. Both retrospectives followed the “make lists” pattern.  One made two lists  “What worked well” and “What didn’t work well.”  The other made three lists “What worked well,” “What didn’t work well,” & “Issues or questions.” Once…

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Double Loop Learning in Retrospectives II

Slides from a talk I gave on Double Loop Learning in Retrospectives: Double Loop Learning in Retrospectives View more presentations from Esther Derby And take a look at PROMOTING DOUBLE LOOP LEARNING IN RETROSPECTIVES.

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Promoting Double Loop Learning in Retrospectives

“The thinking that got us here isn’t the thinking that’s going to get us where we need to be.”  attributed to Albert Einstein I have  this niggling concern about retrospectives. I have no doubt that retrospectives that are too short, don’t result in action / experiment, or fail to delve beneath the surface are a…

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Agile Retrospectives: A Primer

From time to time, I hear from people who aren’t realizing value from their retrospectives. When I probe to understand the situation, I understand why they aren’t getting results–the process they are using isn’t designed to actually help the team think, learn, and decide together. So here’s a primer for Agile Retrospectives, a process to…

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Five Tips for Retrospective Leaders and Meeting Moderators

This article first appeared on stickyminds.com Few people enjoy meetings that waste time in swirling discussions. Fewer still like meetings where their ideas and opinions are solicited and then ignored. Retrospective leaders (and anyone else who leads group discussions) need the tools to help groups think, discuss, and decide effectively. Below are five tips to…

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Seven Ways to Revitalize Your Sprint Retrospectives

This article first appeared on ScrumAlliance.org. Retrospectives are an integral part of Scrum. But too often, when I talk to Scrum teams, they tell me that they’ve stopped doing retrospectives. “We’ve run out of things to improve,” one ScrumMaster said. Another complained that after six sprints, they were saying the same things over and over…

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Looking Back, Moving Forward: Retrospectives Help Teams Inspect and Adapt

This article first appeared on stickyminds.com. Not long ago, I received a call from someone who wanted to hold a retrospective. “Tell me about your goals for the retrospective,” I prompted. The requestor proceeded to describe what amounted to a mini-witch hunt. If you really want to wreak havoc with a team, try having a…

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Eight Reasons Retrospectives Fail (And What You Can Do about Them)

This article first appeared on stickyminds.com. I’ve seen retrospectives help teams make major improvements. Yet, each time I talk to a group about retrospectives, someone always tells me, “We tried retrospectives, and they don’t work for us.” Why? My inquiries revealed eight common reasons behind retrospective failures. Some failures happen before the retrospective starts, some…

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Making Retrospective Changes Stick

Retrospectives become a waste of time if the changes and improvements agreed upon in the meeting are never accomplished. Esther Derby believes in the power of retrospectives. And she knows firsthand that it’s easy to talk about a change, but not always easy to actually do something differently. In this week’s column, Esther shares experiences that illustrate this point and offers advice on how to make changes stick.

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