Agile Retrospectives
Making Good Teams Great
By Esther Derby, Diana Larsen, Ken Schwaber
Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf
Final Release Date: July 2006
Pages: 200

See how to mine the experience of your software development team continually throughout the life of the project. The tools and recipes in this book will help you uncover and solve hidden (and not-so-hidden) problems with your technology, your methodology, and those difficult "people" issues on your team.

Project retrospectives help teams examine what went right and what went wrong on a project. But traditionally, retrospectives (also known as "post-mortems") are only helpful at the end of the project--too late to help. You need agile retrospectives that are iterative and incremental. You need to accurately find and fix problems to help the team today.

Now, Derby and Larsen show you the tools, tricks, and tips you need to fix the problems you face on a software development project on an on-going basis. You'll see how to architect retrospectives in general, how to design them specifically for your team and organization, how to run them effectively, how to make the needed changes, and how to scale these techniques up. You'll learn how to deal with problems, and implement solutions effectively throughout the project--not just at the end.

With regular tune-ups, your team will hum like a precise, world-class orchestra.

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oreillyAgile Retrospectives
 
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4.0

Good reference for retrospective activities

By Mike

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Agile Retrospectives:

I am a fan of The Pragmatic Progammers series of books. They have mostly good material and I like the company's publishing methods. I am happy to say that while this book may not be the best of the Pragmatic series, it keeps up the good name. Those of you who run in Agile circles should recognize those Author's names. Esther wrote another Pragmatic book, Behind Closed Doors, with Johanna Rothman. I've read a number of her blog postings and articles over the years and generally like her style. She is also active at the Agile Conference, running the "Open Jam" stage/sessions. Diana was a director of the Agile Aliance from 2004-2006 and speaks at number of conferences.

Overall, I like the book. That said, if you are about to lead a retrospective for the first time, this book will not take the place of having been in a retrospective or having a good coach. This book can serve as good preparatory material to help build your confidence and give you options for when things take unexpected turns.

I would recommend this book more strongly to those involved in or leading retrospectives and finding them to be getting stale or losing effectiveness. The lists of activities provided in the middle chapters might just help.

 
5.0

excellent - packed with ideas

By AndrewF

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Agile Retrospectives:

Agile Retrospectives is well organized around process stages, how-to tips, on modifying the process for your team, managing time and the group dynamic and retrospective activities. It's concise, with many useful examples. Packed with ideas.

I started out reading someone else's copy, but bought one for myself since it's such a great reference. I was so impressed I also picked up a "Behind Closed Doors", a management book Ester Derby co-wrote with Johanna Rothman. Both of these will be beneficial to my organization.

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