September 28 & 29, 2020 | Virtual
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There is a lot of debate about retrospective. First of all, is something tied to Scrum framework, not to all the frameworks. Second, it is one of the places in Scrum where things can be think close to waterfall life cycle. If you are working in real Agile based environments quality is one of the drivers of Agile and, in fact, is one of the pillars, is part of the basement. Then, something called restrospective or the way you call it must be done in constant and continue way. So, people have to learn, people have to wake up along the process not in a particular point of the process. If not, there is no gain into agility.
Agile does not prescribe ANY ceremonies and UAT is not a distinct phase if you follow a true agile delivery approach.
Retrospectives provide an opportunity for a feedback loop on the team's delivery process - if they are well run and the team understands their purpose and acts on a few of the ideas generated, then they are useful.
Kiron and Sergio already commented on the relationship of retrospectives and Scrum/Agile.
In a wider project management context, we need to learn. As humans we need to learn to survive. A key technique to learn is to reflect and change behaviors or even artifacts. I call this debrief. It is mapped in the PDCA cycle of Deming C- check or reflect, A- act or change ways of working.
Pilots debrief a flight, doctors debrief a surgery, Lawyers debrief a court decision. So project managers should debrief any project and also relevant parts of it, like a sprint. The more we learn, the better we become.
It is also called lessons learned session, and it is not limited to the end of a project but useful at any point where there is something to learn, positively or negatively.
You just said it, its lesson learned. In retrospective we see what were opportunities and strengths for the past sprint. If we don't learn from opportunities there is no point of having retrospective meetings. Strengths help not only current team but other teams as well to follow good practices.
In Agile, I saw sometimes its just become routine and folks don't pay much attention and keep moving and sometimes do same mistakes which were captured in last sprint.
Retrospectives are focused on team learning, lessons learned on organizational learning. Inventions that have value to the organization but are out of scope and interest of the team are not brought forward in retrospectives.
Organizational knowledge development requires lessons learned.
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