The Agile Tribe

Final thoughts on running a 70 person retrospective

on November 25, 2010

Author: Jonathan Coleman

After the celebration morning tea, I did some follow up work to keep the momentum going and so that everyone was reminded of the great experience we had on the day of the retrospective. I emailed out photos/descriptions of the major issues, the top things we could do about them, and the names of the action owners to everyone. We then followed this up through the next iteration. Several workshops were born and we chased up on issues through these.

Would I do it again with 70 people? My answer would be YES!

This was a very successful retrospective in that it did the following things:

  • Gave people a chance to speak out in the group (through smaller groups on the day)
  • Allowed people to “own” the issues rather than being told what to focus on
  • Fostered intense collaboration between the groups because of the necessary timeboxing
  • Allowed people who don’t usually have an opportunity to present, to be front and centre to the team what the actions were.
  • Built the team culture of facing obstacles honestly, and having the ability with the team itself to overcome them.
  • Nothing is impossible!

So, again thanks go to the ideas/tips gleaned from the Agile Academy’s Facilitation Course. The retrospective itself was a really useful session for me and thanks to everyone who attended and took part. I look forward to facilitating future retrospectives, no matter how big. My final thanks go to James King and Craig Smith, two great Agile coaches and trainers for their ideas and input.


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