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Project Retrospectives: A Handbook for Team Reviews

Book Description

This is the digital copy of the printed booik (Copyright © 2001).

With detailed scenarios, imaginative illustrations, and step-by-step instructions, consultant and speaker Norman L. Kerth guides readers through productive, empowering retrospectives of project performance.

Whether your shop calls them postmortems or postpartums or something else, project retrospectives offer organizations a formal method for preserving the valuable lessons learned from the successes and failures of every project. These lessons and the changes identified by the community will foster stronger teams and savings on subsequent efforts.

For a retrospective to be effective and successful, though, it needs to be safe. Kerth shows facilitators and participants how to defeat the fear of retribution and establish an air of mutual trust. One tool is Kerth's Prime Directive: Regardless of what we discover, we must understand and truly believe that everyone did the best job he or she could, given what was known at the time, his or her skills and abilities, the resources available, and the situation at hand.

Applying years of experience as a project retrospective facilitator for software organizations, Kerth reveals his secrets for managing the sensitive, often emotionally charged issues that arise as teams relive and learn from each project.

Table of Contents

  1. About This eBook
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Also Available from DORSET HOUSE
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. Dedication
  7. Contents
  8. Foreword
  9. Preface
  10. Chapter One. Introduction to Retrospectives
    1. The Need for Ritual
    2. Naming the Process
    3. Prime Directive for a Retrospective
    4. The Darker Side of Retrospectives
    5. The Retrospective Facilitator
  11. Chapter Two. Anatomy of a Retrospective: A Case Study
    1. The Sample Retrospective
    2. Preparing for the Retrospective
    3. The Retrospective Plan
    4. Retrospective Day 1
    5. Retrospective Day 2
    6. Retrospective Day 3
    7. Preparing for the Facilitator’s Job
  12. Chapter Three. Engineering a Retrospective: Making Choices
    1. Engineering a Retrospective
    2. Who Should Attend the Retrospective?
    3. Where Should the Retrospective Be Held?
    4. When Should the Retrospective Be Held?
    5. How Long Should a Retrospective Be?
  13. Chapter Four. Selling a Retrospective
    1. Understanding the Market for Retrospective Sales
    2. Selling Is Okay
    3. Effective Selling Requires Listening
  14. Chapter Five. Preparing for a Retrospective
    1. Connect with the Managers
    2. Map the Community
    3. Collect Effort Data
    4. Ready the Team
    5. When to Get the Legal Department Involved
    6. Track Details with a Checklist
    7. When to Arrive for the Retrospective
  15. Chapter Six. Retrospective Exercises
    1. The Exercises
    2. Designing a Retrospective Meal
  16. Chapter Seven. Leading a Postmortem
    1. The Challenger Story
    2. Transforming the Failed-Project Experience
    3. Qualifying to Lead a Postmortem
    4. Some Important Differences Between Retrospectives and Postmortems
  17. Chapter Eight. Postmortem Exercises
    1. The Exercises
    2. The “CEO/VP Interview” Exercise
    3. The “Art Gallery” Exercise
    4. The “Define Insanity” Exercise
    5. The “Make It a Mission” Exercise
  18. Chapter Nine. On Becoming a Skilled Retrospective Facilitator
    1. Six Lessons
    2. Understanding the Facilitator’s Procedures
  19. Chapter Ten. After the Retrospective
    1. Retrospective Reports
    2. Collecting Retrospective Reports
    3. Keeping the Wisdom Alive
    4. A Secure Location
    5. Conduct a Retrospective of Your Retrospective
    6. Collecting Retrospectives-of-Retrospectives Reports
  20. Index