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Project Retrospectives

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  119 ratings  ·  16 reviews
With detailed scenarios, imaginative illustrations, and step -- by-step ins tructions, consultant and speaker Norman L. Kerth guides readers through productive, empowering retrospectives of project performance.Whether your shop calls them postmortems or postpartums or something else, project retrospectives offer organizations a formal method for preserving the valuable les ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 1st 2001 by Dorset House Publishing Company, Incorporated (first published February 2001)
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Ben Linders
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book that I have read on retrospectives, after having seen Norm Kerth on the SM/ASM conference in 2001 presenting about retrospectives.

It's a classic, even if you do agile retrospectives, as it describes the basic concepts and ideas behind retrospectives. A must read for anybody of is working agile, and want to continuously improve the way of working!
Toni Tassani
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: safari
A book on retrospectives from 2001 cannot bring anything new, but it's interesting to understand how the points of view have changed. The author prefers the term Retrospective over Post partum and Postmortem, and the focus is clearly on Projects. He keeps the term postmortem when dealing with failed projects.
Kerth says that looking at what has not worked, and looking at the past, is not a natural activity and a Ritual is needed. He says Wayne and Eileen Strider were the facilitators who suggeste
Erika RS
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: software
This book was a 5/5 for relevant and deep content on project retrospectives and a 3/5 on overall quality as a book, so 4/5 overall.

The target audience for this book is people running project retrospectives. It provides a wealth of material on the purpose of retrospectives, preparing for them, running them, and improving them. To a large degree, the book is targeted even more specifically at professional retrospective facilitators. The upside of this focus is that Kerth gives a broad set of tool
Alexey Simakov
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Книга с одной стороны рассказывает что такое ретроспектива проекта и как к ней подходить. В чем важность этой практики для команды и компании, как можно посчитать ее ценность в деньгах. Но это не только рассказ о ретроспективе в историях и примерах, а в также сборник готовых рецептов для ее проведения. В книге описаны упражнения которые нужны для подготовки и проведения ретроспективы проекта и постмортема. Планирую использовать как справочник для подготовки к следующей ретро.
Gustav Messany-Oberwandling
The content is quite nice and the most comprehensive book about Retrospectives I've read so far. It gives some nice hints and you can see that the author really knows his craftsmanship. Still it feels a bit outdated and not that easy applicable to software development in 2020. ...more
Melchor Moro-Oliveros
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: letti-2019
It is a good guide and one of the few books on the topic which handle it in a comprehensive way. If you are about to lead a project retrospective this book is a good read. If you have participated in projects, then you will see yourself reflected in many of the true stories described in the book. It is worth reading it, even if it took me three years to complete it, but this is another story.
Nov 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Good old Norm blazing this trail for us to actually tangibly consider learning organizations 20 years later... Thanks on behalf of all Agilists.
Mar 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference
The Retrospective Prime Directive is one of those keys to having a good retrospective, and it's important to wave it around like a weapon; a kind of shield against toxic finger pointing.

Regardless of what we discover, we understand and truly believe that everyone did the best job they could, given what they knew at the time, their skills and abilities, the resources available, and the situation at hand.

I will admit that Kerth's idea of a multi-day retrospective is much more in-depth than anythin
Jeanne Boyarsky
Jul 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: technology
I think I read this book before - years ago, before I started tracking what I read on goodreads. It was good the second time too though.

Each chapter begins with a cute animal story applying the lessons of the chapter. The first was from "Winnie the Pooh." The others cover assorted interactions between an Owl, Wolf, Pig, Beaver, etc.

Each chapter is full of tips,cartoons and anecdotes. One chapter includes exercises to draw out trust and information.

I certainly got some ideas and insights for my n
Olli Sorje
Jun 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Good book about holding retrospectives. Nowadays when agile projects are more usual, I'm not sure if there is need for these multi-day retrospectives. Nevertheless techniques and facilitation skills in this book are still very useful in more agile iteration retrospectives. This book also nicely introduces some theories about how people behave and how to resolve conflicts. I recommend this for anyone interested in holding retrospectives of any kind. ...more
Andrew Doran
Feb 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Useful text on running retrospectives, albeit from someone who seems to do this work on a full-time basis. Bottom line: for a retrospective to be useful you need three days.

The book contains an overview of the whole process as well as a ‘cook-book’ of exercises you can use in various situations, including when a project has completely failed.
Serban Ghita
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the bible for facilitators, but there are a LOT to learn even if you do small retrospectives with your team. Helped me a lot to focus the discussions in the right direction. It might repeat some of the conclusions, but I understand this is a practice because people skip some chapters. It helps you solidify them.
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The best book on retrospectives I have ever read. Full of practical exercises and some theoretical grounding with lots of references. This book is much better then the Agile Retrospectives book which now appears to me as a simple rip-off of this book.
Nynke Fokma
Jul 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: management
Sep 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
Yes, this is where it all started, but I wouldn't start here. Once you get the prime directive, Esther Derby's retro book is more useful and current. ...more
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