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Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great


Cover image for Agile Retrospectives

Agile Retrospectives

Making Good Teams Great


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.

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About this Title

Pages: 176
Published: 2006-07-01
Release: P7.0 (2013-01-29)
ISBN: 978-0-9776-1664-0

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 held 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 Esther and Diana 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.

This book will help you:

  • Design and run effective retrospectives
  • Learn how to find and fix problems
  • Find and reinforce team strengths
  • Address people issues as well as technological
  • Use tools and recipes proven in the real world

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

Read the reviews .


Esther Derby is one of the rare breed of consultants who blends the technical and managerial issues with the people-side issues. She is well known for her work helping teams grow to new levels of productivity and is recognized as one of the world’s leaders in retrospective facilitation. Esther’s articles have appeared in Better Software (formerly STQE), Software Development, Cutter IT Journal, and CrossTalk. She writes regular columns for and, and publishes the quarterly newsletter, insights. Esther is also a host and session leader at the Amplifying Your Effectiveness (AYE) conference.

Diana Larsen partners with leaders of software development projects to improve project performance, support and sustain change, and build collaborative workplaces. Diana serves on the boards of the Agile Alliance and the Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference, participates in planning for the XP 200x and Agile 200x conferences, and speaks at several software conferences every year. She’s written articles for Software Development, At Work, Cutter IT Journal, and Cutter’s Executive Update and e-Advisor series. Diana is a founder of the Annual International Retrospective Facilitators Gathering.

With Norm Kerth, Esther and Diana are founders of the annual Retrospective Facilitators Gathering. They are recognized as two of the world’s leaders in retrospective facilitation.

Upcoming Author Events

  • 2017-04-10: Diana Larsen
    Agile Team Chartering: Give Your Scrum Teams a Great Start Achieve more with Scrum teams that produce, perform, and begin self-organizing sooner. Take time for chartering at the start. - See more at: (Global Scrum Gathering San Diego, San Diego, CA, US)
  • 2017-04-12: Diana Larsen
    Uncovering the Path to Product Ownership Fluency To master Product Ownership, you develop fluent proficiency in many new skill sets. Help us explore the stages of fluent Product Ownership. - See more at: (Global Scrum Gathering San Diego, San Diego, CA, US)
  • 2017-04-25: Diana Larsen
    "Park Bench" Conversations with ODF Advisory Board Members Reflections on Systems and Balance from the Organization Design Bazaar (Organization Design Forum Conference 2017, Santa Fe, New Mexico, US)
  • 2017-05-25: Diana Larsen
    The Amigos You Meet: Taking Concrete Steps Toward Radical Collaboration Business liaisons, Product Owners, and analysts: do you work alone? Find your amigos, and engage in radical collaboration. (XP2017, Cologne, Germany)