On our current project, we haven’t run many retrospectives. Gasp! Anyone who knows me might be shocked to hear that.
I’ve pondered whether or not that this has been a bad thing for our project. I’m a huge advocate for using retrospectives to help encourage people to create change on their projects. I’m a huge advocate for using retrospectives to bring the team together and understand what’s going on. Fortunately I’m lucky that our team has some very strong people with probably 40% of them having true skin-in-the-game experience working on agile teams that things just get done and more importantly, things continuously improve.
I definitely believe that without all the experienced agile team members, we wouldn’t have overcome all the different and sometimes bizarre situations (ask me if you see me!) thrown our way. Do I think retrospectives still offer us some value? Yes, but probably not for the reasons that most people use it for.
It’s amazing what a bunch of energised, passionate and people with the “solve the right problem once” attitude can achieve. I’d only wish that more teams were made up of people like this more often!