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The Retrospective Handbook


Cover image for The Retrospective Handbook

The Retrospective Handbook


If you could only pick one agile practice, which would it be? With retrospectives, you and your team could continually adapt your process to find the most effective way of working for you. Retrospectives, when done well, offer a good opportunity to initiate lasting change. This book shows you how.

This work was written and produced entirely by the author. We are proud to be distributing it.

About this Title

Pages: 141
Published: 2013-09-10
Release: P1.0 (2013-09-16)
ISBN: pending

This book condenses more than eight years of experience working with the retrospective practice within the context of real agile teams. It offers you practical advice on how to make your retrospectives even more effective, including topics such as dealing with common retrospective smells, keeping retrospectives energizing, and how to make change proposed in a retrospective stick.

You can quickly navigate to relevant sections. Need to run a retrospective for a large group? There’s a section for that. Need to handle running retrospectives in a distributed manner or learn how to make the meeting most effective through proper preparation? There are sections for these too, as well as many more.

This book is complementary to other books on retrospectives that offer exercises for running retrospectives by focusing on the process. This book offers activities with concrete advice to deal with the variety of situations you will find yourself in.


Contents & Extracts

  • Foreword by Diana Larsen
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1 – Retrospective Fundamentals excerpt
  • Chapter 2 – Preparing for Retrospectives
  • Chapter 3 – Facilitating Retrospectives excerpt
  • Chapter 4 – First-Time Facilitation Tips
  • Chapter 5 – Distributed Retrospectives
  • Chapter 6 Other Flavours of Retrospectives
  • Chapter 7 After the Retrospective
  • Chapter 8 Common Retrospective Smells
  • Chapter 9 Keeping Retrospectives Fresh
  • Chapter 10 Concluding
  • Appendix A: Retrospective Activities
  • Appendix B: Resources to Becoming a Better Facilitator
  • Appendix C: References


A technical leader and agile coach, Patrick Kua has written production systems in .NET, Java, and Ruby. Patrick relies on retrospectives as a basis for improving teams, and is passionate about helping people achieve maximum value from the retrospective practice. You can follow his blog at