Bad Standard: Plus-Minus-Delta Agile Retrospectives

Many people dislike the 3 question, plus-minus-delta retrospective. I am one of them. The plus-minus-delta agile retrospective leads to many problems. I say it was never the “standard” in the title, so why are so many people confused? Or…am I the one confused?

While co-coaching recently, the other coach and I had a brief exchange about how the “standard” agile retrospective was not good. I was a little confused, since while I certainly do not always use ‘the standard’ or baseline agile retrospective, there is value to it — at least I thought so? The baseline retrospective I employ is a solid method to teach people how to do an agile retrospective. I asked a few more questions and realized that while we were both using the term “standard retrospective,” we had different definitions of the term. (more…)


Cursing Your Vision Statement

I was coaching someone a while back and asked them to tell me what their vision statement: what motivated him? When I heard the answer, I was not moved. What I heard was boring. I knew this person had passion for what he did. What happened to it?

If I ask you to tell me why you do what you do, and you are not jumping up and down a bit, getting a bit fired up, I don’t buy your passion!  Here are some ideas to find the passion in your vision statement.  They may not be for everyone, but I know they have helped some people already, so I wanted to share. (more…)


Improving Yourself with StrengthsFinder 2.0

I am often asked by folks I’m coaching for ideas of assessments they can take to help them grow.

I’m working on a few articles about different types of assessments and improving yourself (subscribe if you are interested in being notified). I thought I’d take some time to explain some of insights I got from taking the StrengthsFinder® 2.0 assessment a while back, as well as explain what it is and how to take it.  This is the first of three articles on assessments. The other two will cover MBTI® and The Leadership Circle Profile® .  All three are very different in a number of ways, which I will discuss in those articles.

Agile and Agility are about people, learning, and collaborating – a foundational part being able to collaborating and learning with others is personal mastery. (more…)

Hand with fingers in different positions

Learning with Fist of Five Voting

Fist of Five Voting is a deceivingly simple process you can use to check-in, learn, gain consensus, and/or vote to understand where people stand on an issue or idea.  I say deceivingly, because there is so much more you can learn about what is really happening in a team if you are paying attention.

I find there are many tools I (and others) use without being entirely sure of the idea’s origin. As I work on other articles, I realize some people may not be familiar with concepts such as Fist of Five Voting. So I’m working on building these ideas out to fill in those gaps. The source of Fist of Five is sometimes attributed to American Youth Foundation, however I can’t find a reference on their website. (more…)


Lessons-Learned vs Project Retrospectives

I wrote about agile team retrospectives in a recent article and find that the term retrospective can be used in many different ways. I’ve heard people ask, “Did you just change the name from lessons-learned to retrospective?” Although there are similarities, there are some key differences. Let’s review a few types and consider the issues with most lessons-learned meeting.

Release and Project Retrospectives

While agile team retrospectives  have a team focus on celebrating, learning, and improving their relationship on a regular basis, there are other types of retrospectives. (more…)

Not this kind of retro!

Agile Retrospectives Improve Team Relationships

I get a lot of questions about agile retrospectives from existing clients who are familiar with agile, those new to it, and folks who don’t use agile (so, yes: everyone!). This is one in a series of posts on retrospectives covering a variety of angles on the subject. [Agile Retrospective Resources has a list of the upcoming articles and many other resources.]

What is an agile retrospective?

Not this kind of retro!

Not this kind of retro!

An agile retrospective (often simply called a retro) is a regular ritual focused on celebrating, learning, collaborating, committing, and improving the team’s relationship.  These items, taken together form the value of an agile retrospective.  There are different types of retrospectives (e.g. release and project retrospectives); though here I am focusing here on regularly scheduled team retrospectives (e.g. sprint retrospectives or iteration retrospectives). (more…)


Agile Retrospective Resources

There is a lot of information out there are agile retrospectives.  I have a number of articles on them and there are plenty of places with information including blogs, websites, and books.

My Articles About Agile Retrospectivesagile retrospective resources

I’m working on a series about retrospectives, and have included a list of articles that are already written as well as some of the future articles.  If you are interested in subscribing to get notified of the next post, please subscribe via email. (more…)