Software Practices

TH07 Improve Your Retrospective Outcomes with Agile Kaizen


9:30am - 10:45am

Level: Introductory to Intermediate

Angela Dugan

Principal Consultant and ALM Practice Manager

Polaris Solutions

Continuous self-improvement of software teams is traditionally accomplished through retrospectives, a form of postmortem held at the completion of an iteration. More often than not, attendance at retrospectives begins to fizzle out, people get frustrated, and the list of action items keeps growing until teams simply succumb to business-as-usual practices. In some cases, teams eventually abandon retrospectives altogether because they feel like a waste of time.

  • Do you feel like your retrospectives are a death march where no one is actively participating?
  • Do the same problems seem to resurface repeatedly?
  • Are your retrospectives ending prematurely or being cancelled in favor of "getting more real work done?"
  • Or maybe you feel great about your agile retrospectives, but just want to learn more about Kaizen.

This is not just for teams that are already doing agile/scrum. This interactive discussion will cover how you can use the Kaizen process to analyze and improve your team retrospectives, regardless of your team's adopted process. You'll begin with a brief review of what a retrospective is and walk through some examples of both healthy and unhealthy retrospective scenarios. You'll learn the concept of Kaizen, the Kaizen process, and how you can leverage Kaizen to turn your retrospectives back into the effective continuous improvement tools they are meant to be.

You will learn:

  • How to recognize when your team's retrospectives are no longer effective
  • The Kaizen technique for problem solving
  • How to apply Kaizen techniques in a team's agile retrospective to enhance collaboration and fast-track problem solving