Retrospectives: Techniques

Learn about the desired characteristics of retrospective moderators and different retrospective formats.

Open discussion format

Retrospectives are one of the most important steps in agile development because they help to shape the process. Therefore, we need to obtain open and honest comments from all team members in order to know what kind of refinements to the process are necessary. Although this is the main purpose of the retrospective, it might be a good idea to offer a forum for team members to provide these comments also during development time so that no important issues are forgotten before the retrospective. The wiki web or personal interviews by the communication team might serve well for this purpose.

We can lead retrospectives by using an open discussion format. This format will be adequate if there is already a safe environment, or if the reflection focuses mainly on the status of the project and not on shaping the process, although the former undoubtedly influences the latter.

Note: A safe environment stands for a climate in which participants are not scared to articulate their issues and will communicate their concerns in an open and honest manner. Their fear often results from social constraints in the group.

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