Esther Derby, along with Diana Larson recently released a book on Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great by Diana Larsen, Esther Derby. They subsequently took their show on the road to Google as one of their Tech Talks and is the subject of today’s video.
The video is pretty good and you can tell that they are used to doing similar presentations which is refreshing from some people that clearly are uncomfortable being in front of people / cameras. From a content perspective, I tuned out somewhat at the 37 minute mark when they started trading stories about favorite and least favorite retrospectives they had participated in. The gist of the presentation seems to be that the Agile kids have all sorts of checks and balances in place to rapidly detect and correct errors in the code, so why not have the same sort of thing for the methods, processes and teams which implement the code. Seems pretty logical.
Anyhow, the framework they propose for running a retrospective consists of five phases
- Set the stage
- Gather data
- Generate insights
- Decide what to do
- Recap and close
Some unrelated things from the presentation extraneous to the core content
- They pair-wrote the book, meaning they only wrote something when in the same room and using one keyboard
- Google employs sign-language interpretors for their presentations (she is sitting to the right of the podium in some shots). I have yet to see that listed as one of Google’s elaborate perks, but is pretty cool.
Direct link here.
Oh, and my review of Esther’s other books is here.