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Image from Amazon
Title: Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great
Author(s): Ester Derby & Diana Larsen
Publisher: O'Reilly
Category: Java in General

Amazon wrote: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.

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 helpful 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, Derby and Larsen 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.

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

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  • Ester's website and course
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    I borrowed “Agile Retrospectives” from a colleague on maternity leave. That meant I didn't have a near term due date and it took me months to read. That turned out to be helpful as I could reflect on the different parts.

    I liked the idea that having everyone speak up in the first five minutes increases the chances of them speaking up later. I tried that at a robotics team retrospective.

    Chapters 4-8 are the meat of the book. They suggest different activities for the different phases – set the stage, gather dat, generate insights and decide what to do. This is a great way of thinking about it because it helps think about why you are doing each thing. This also lets you experiment and try your own activities. Each activity focused on supplies purpose, time needed, etc. Very helpful for me in thinking about retrospectives in non traditional settings. (ex: a dozen people attending an event that needs to be shared with 100 people)

    I give this book 9 out of 10 horseshoes.
    Don't get me started about those stupid light bulbs.
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