Project Retrospectives: A Handbook for Team Reviews [NOOK Book]

Overview

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...
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Project Retrospectives: A Handbook for Team Reviews

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Overview

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.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Kerth, a consultant to software organizations, guides facilitators and participants through the process of the project retrospective using scenarios and detailed, cartoon-illustrated instructions. The retrospective is a formal method for preserving the lessons learned from the successes and failures of projects. Kerth shows how to conduct one in an atmosphere of mutual trust and without the fear of retribution. The goal is for the lessons and changes identified by the community to foster stronger teams and savings on subsequent efforts. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780133488746
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 7/29/2013
  • Series: Dorset House eBooks
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 882,228
  • File size: 7 MB

Meet the Author

NORMAN L. KERTH has facilitated project retrospectives for more than twenty years. Based in Portland, Oregon, he is an expert consultant in the areas of specification and design methodologies, with emphasis on object-oriented technologies and patterns. His clients include Automatic Data Processing, Intel, American Express, IBM, Sun Microsystems, Nike, U.S. Army, Microsoft, and the National Science Foundation, among others. Before starting his consulting practice, Norm was a professor at the University of Portland and spent ten years working for Tektronix in a variety of positions, including that of corporate software engineering consultant. In 1999, he received a brain injury from a cell-phone-distracted driver and now sits on the sidelines, encouraging many talented people as they further the practice of retrospectives.
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Table of Contents

Foreword xiii

Preface xv

Chapter 1: Introduction to Retrospectives 1

THE NEED FOR RITUAL 4

NAMING THE PROCESS 5

PRIME DIRECTIVE FOR A RETROSPECTIVE 7

THE DARKER SIDE OF RETROSPECTIVES 8

THE RETROSPECTIVE FACILITATOR 10

Chapter 2: Anatomy of a Retrospective: A Case Study 13

THE SAMPLE RETROSPECTIVE 13

PREPARING FOR THE RETROSPECTIVE 14

THE RETROSPECTIVE PLAN 16

RETROSPECTIVE DAY 1 18

RETROSPECTIVE DAY 2 25

RETROSPECTIVE DAY 3 28

PREPARING FOR THE FACILITATOR’S JOB 32

Chapter 3: Engineering a Retrospective: Making Choices 35

ENGINEERING A RETROSPECTIVE 37

WHO SHOULD ATTEND THE RETROSPECTIVE? 47

WHERE SHOULD THE RETROSPECTIVE BE HELD? 49

WHEN SHOULD THE RETROSPECTIVE BE HELD? 52

HOW LONG SHOULD A RETROSPECTIVE BE? 53

Chapter 4: Selling a Retrospective 57

UNDERSTANDING THE MARKET FOR RETROSPECTIVE SALES 59

SELLING IS OKAY 62

EFFECTIVE SELLING REQUIRES LISTENING 64


Chapter 5: Preparing for a Retrospective 67

CONNECT WITH THE MANAGERS 69

MAP THE COMMUNITY 73

COLLECT EFFORT DATA 76

READY THE TEAM 84

WHEN TO GET THE LEGAL DEPARTMENT INVOLVED 90

TRACK DETAILS WITH A CHECKLIST 91

WHEN TO ARRIVE FOR THE RETROSPECTIVE 93

Chapter 6: Retrospective Exercises 95

THE EXERCISES 99

DESIGNING A RETROSPECTIVE MEAL 165

Chapter 7: Leading a Postmortem 171

THE C HALLENGER STORY 174

TRANSFORMING THE FAILED-PROJECT EXPERIENCE 175

QUALIFYING TO LEAD A POSTMORTEM 186

SOME IMPORTANT DIFFERENCES BETWEEN RETROSPECTIVES AND

POSTMORTEMS 186

Chapter 8: Postmortem Exercises 189

THE EXERCISES 190


Chapter 9: On Becoming a Skilled Retrospective Facilitator 209

SIX LESSONS 211

UNDERSTANDING THE FACILITATOR’S PROCEDURES 220


Chapter 10: After the Retrospective 249

RETROSPECTIVE REPORTS 252

COLLECTING RETROSPECTIVE REPORTS 253

KEEPING THEWISDOM ALIVE 256

A SECURE LOCATION 258

CONDUCT A RETROSPECTIVE OF YOUR RETROSPECTIVE 259

A SECURE LOCATION 258
CONDUCT A RETROSPECTIVE OF YOUR RETROSPECTIVE 259
COLLECTING RETROSPECTIVES-OF-RETROSPECTIVES REPORTS 261


Index 263

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2001

    A very practical 'how to' guide

    Project Retrospectives by Norm Kerth places an entirely new light on how to effectively and safely reflect on a recent project and not only learn from successes and mistakes, but to become a more solid project team for the next project. The things I liked about the book: First, Project Retrospectives covers the topic completely in a very concise and readable way. You will find everything you need to know in this book in how to get started, how to be or find a facilitator, how to plan the retrospective, how to conduct the sessions ¿ including a generous number of effective exercises, how to sell the concept of retrospectives to management and how to apply the lessons learned in an organization. Second, I like the way that Kirth dealt openly and honestly with real world issues that surround project activities such as retrospectives that are often seen by management as ¿extras.¿ Kirth treats this topic with integrity and basically advises that if you can¿t do the retrospective right, don¿t do it at all ¿ or at least wait until you can do it right. I never had to try to separate theory from practice as I read the book ¿ it was all practical. Finally, I enjoyed the clear train of thought throughout the book, along with specific examples and case studies. I never had to wonder where Kirth was going with a thought. It is time that we as software professionals make a ritual of reflecting on what we do and how effective we have been. In a profession where we try all too often to apply a single solution to many problems, the activity of project retrospectives can be a major force to improve the overall quality of projects. I highly recommend Project Retrospectives to project managers, consultants, QA analysts or anyone else wishing to be an agent of change in their organizations for higher software project quality.

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