While out to dinner with my better-half last week, we passed by a poster advertising a function at a local art gallery. The event in question was billed as a retrospective for a prominent local artist. Being an agile enthusiast, I immediately recognized the importance of such an event. By having an event like that, it would allow the attendees to focus on the work of that artist that was done over a period of time.

Retrospectives in the agile world are designed just for that purpose. They provide an outlet for the team to come together to discuss the iteration and answer the important questions of “what went right?”, “what went wrong?” and “how can we get better?” The last question is extremely important because it allows you to focus on continuous improvement.

Within VersionOne, we find that teams find the most success when they create the retrospective document at the beginning of an iteration. That way, it will be easily accessible to keep track of suggestions or issues that arise during that timeframe. Retrospectives within VersionOne can even have attachments and links associated with them just like tasks or stories.

To add a retrospective to a project within VersionOne, navigate to the Review menu item and select the Retrospectives tab. Click on the “Add Retrospective” button and begin entering the information.

Adding a Retrospective

When you are ready to conduct your Retrospective meeting, you can open up the retrospective conductor and view all the information you’ve been capturing during the iteration.

To conduct your retrospective within VersionOne, navigate to the Review menu item and select the Retrospectives tab. Any retrospectives that have been created will be listed on that page. Click the “Conduct” button in the appropriate row to open that document.

Conduct a Retrospective

Some benefits of having the document open is that while your team is discussing the three questions, you can add or assign issues that may be affecting the project. Furthermore, the retrospective conductor even allows you to add project backlog items for ideas that may come up within the meeting.

To see how to get some great value out of your retrospectives, please check out this 4 part article from our Agile Management Blog.

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