Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Primer on Project Retrospectives

We've all heard the terms "post-mortem," "lessons learned, and "after action" in reference to project reviews.  If you are like me these reviews are an important learning tool but all too often turn out to be less than they could be.  I like the concept of project "retrospectives" a lot more.  The term itself implies a different kind of experience.  What I like even more is the structured approach demonstrated in Esther Derby's presentation below.  It includes the use of tools that will help pull information and concepts forward, defines an inquisitive approach, and offers good do/don't guidance.

Remember too the value of conducting these retrospectives at the start of a new project.  Take the time to refresh team member memories of learnings from past projects and discuss them in the context of the coming project.

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