The Art of the Retrospective on InfoQ

Last year I gave a talk about retrospective meetings at Agile Cambridge 2013 – a conference for Agile and Lean practitioners in the East of England. My session was called “The Art of the Retrospective” and was focused squarely on sprint retrospective meetings. The 90-minute presentation (!) tried to answer why these regular meetings are often unpopular with the teams and team leaders they are meant to empower. I followed on with some practical advice on how to structure, focus and facilitate these meetings.

This was the first time I had ever given a talk at a conference, and the the first time I talked to any group for longer than about 30 minutes. Amazingly, despite my inexperience and clearly evident nerves, the session received some really good feedback.

The session was recorded by the good folks at InfoQ and the video was finally published last week.

 The Art of the Retrospective from Agile Cambridge 2013

I was kind of dreading it being published because I knew I’d inevitably make myself watch the session. I was expecting it to be pretty cringe-worthy and after a viewing, I was dead right. However, it was really useful to look back and discover how I came across, what my body language was like (poor, if you are interested) and whether I actually said what I wanted to say. As a result, I hope I can make vast improvements for my next session.

If you can forgive the repeated “ums”, a reticence to GET TO THE POINT at the start and my nervous oscillation between the screen and lectern, I reckon the video contains some decent practical advice for team leaders who want to run effective and engaging sprint retrospectives. So click on the image above to go to the talk if you want to hear about some of that stuff. If you want to go straight to the practical advice, jump in at 22 mins and 30 seconds.

If you have any constructive feedback on the session, please let me know by commenting on this post.

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