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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dialogue sheets, retrospectives and quotes (Send me your quotes)

Know any good quote about software development? Agile? Lean? Teams? Code? or anything else in this space?

I’m working on a little project and I need some though provoking quotes so please send them over - leave a comment here, e-mail me (allan at allankelly.net) or Twitter me (allankellynet).

Why?

Well, I’m working on a little project for retrospectives I’ve been dreaming of for a few year and I need some thought provoking quotes.

There are two problem I see with retrospectives - OK, there are other problems but there are two I think I can do something about. (And none of these problems undermine the reason for doing retrospectives or the value, just fly-in-the-ointment stuff.)

Firstly, retrospectives need a facilitator. That might not sound like a problem but ideally you want the facilitator to be a) experienced, b) impartial, c) available. Sometimes its not easy to find that person.

Second, I hear of teams who hold regular retrospectives but the retrospectives because boring, they go over the same ground again and again. To be effective, to get new insights they need jazzing up once in a while.

One way to resolve both problems is to use an outside facilitator once in a while but that needs organization and, most likely, money.

So, what if you could have a retrospective without a facilitator?

Over the last few years I’ve been experimenting with a technique called a Dialogue Sheet. Both in training and conference sessions I’ve used this to facilitate discussion. For more about dialogue sheets see my website with examples from XP Day, SPA and “Lean into Action” at the Agile Lean Exchange last month.

Now I’m working on a Retrospective Dialogue sheet. The idea is a team us this for a facilitator-less retrospective.

I hope to have the sheet ready by New Year and then I’ll be looking for some guinea pigs...

And the quotes: these get placed around the dialogue sheet to provoke thought and reflection.

When I’ve got this working I hope to allow you to download these sheets from my website or order printed versions directly.

2 comments:

  1. Alan, have you come across (1) Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies, and (2) the Ideo design cards? Not a million miles from what you're suggesting here.

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  2. Thanks for the suggestion, I'll have a look

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