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Well, the first iteration of my new project finished yesterday and the retrospective went well, for our first. Troy led the retrospective and tried to keep us on track with the things he’d done before in retrospectives. It was my first retrospective on a professional project, so I thought I’d share our process.

First, Troy hit the whiteboard with three columns: Start Doing, Stop Doing, Keep Doing. These are pretty self-explanatory but I’ll touch briefly on each anyway.

  • Start Doing – Things that we see as a possibility for improvement. (e.g. Pairing through a problem, Lunch-n-Learns for new component suite, etc)
  • Stop Doing – Things we saw that caused problems or waste. (e.g. pulling stories out of order,  getting bogged down in YAGNI)
  • Keep Doing – Things that seemed to work well. (e.g. Daily stand-ups, solid user story writing)


Our list was pretty small, but we only wanted to take an hour for the ENTIRE retrospective, so we had to keep focused.

Then, we each grabbed a different color whiteboard marker and put our mark beside things we thought were the most important in those categories. We were able to vote for three things in the start doing column and two things in the stop doing column (the keep doing is just .. keep doing ‘em…).

Finally, for the things that got the most votes, we talked about action items to ensure we started doing the “Start Doing”s and we put that list up.

Iteration1RetrospectiveActions Mostly what we discovered is we needed to really push the Agile principles. We need to interact more. We found ourselves getting caught in the “I’ll grab a story, go sit at my desk and work on it” scenario and didn’t pair very much at all. We discussed how, when having a problem with something, pair-programming not only gets a second pair of eyes on the problem, it can help to curb getting sucked into YAGNI, and helps to spread the knowledge around.

We will also be adopting a more BDD approach to User Stories and testing by adding scenarios to our stories. This will help to kick start the TDD process, keep the TDD focused on behavior & interaction and not units & testing, and it will help us to focus on the powerful questions for the system.

We will also start doing some Lunch and Learns, where we will be watching training videos on the Telerik RadControls for ASP.NET Ajax to familiarize ourselves with using the components in the suite.

All in all, I have to say it was one of the most productive hours I’ve ever spent in a meeting. :0)


Til next time… Lee

Posted on Wednesday, October 1, 2008 11:22 AM | Back to top

Comments on this post: First Iteration Retrospective

# re: First Iteration Retrospective
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That's awesome! Glad to hear you guys are kicking off well with more agile practices.
Left by Robz on Oct 11, 2008 9:10 AM

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