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Retrospectives are indispensable for continuous learning and improvement in Lean, Agile, DevOps, and many other contexts. But too many organizations run retrospectives “in name only,” and fail to generate the value they promise. In this guide, leading retrospectives facilitator Aino Corry introduces 20+ common antipatterns that undermine the effectiveness of retrospectives, and shows exactly how to overcome each of them.
Using the familiar “patterns” approach, Retrospectives Antipatterns introduces antipatterns related to team and meeting structure, inadequate or counterproductive planning, human interaction, and much more. From “blaming and naming” to too much smalltalk, negativity to cultural disconnects in distributed teams, Corry reveals traps she’s encountered in leading hundreds of retrospectives -- and presents proven solutions. With her insights and guidance, you can run retrospectives that deliver actionable improvements and concrete value — not just once, but over and over again.
Part I: The Structural Antipatterns1. The Wheel of Fortune2. Prime Directive Ignorance3. In the Soup4. Broken by Breaking News5. Spend Time on Smalltalk6. Suffocating Slowly7. Unfruitful Democracy
Part II: The Planning Antipatterns8. Team, Really?9. Do It Yourself10. Death by Postponement11. Let’s Get It Over With
Part III: The People Antipatterns12. The Disillusioned Facilitator13. The Loudmouth14. The Silent One15. The Negative One16. The Negative Team17. The Curious Manager18. Lack of Trust
Part IV: The Distributed Antipatterns19. Disregard of Preparation20. Cultures in Retrospectives21. Dead Silent22. The Political Vote