I just blogged about 7 Best Practices for Facilitating Agile Retrospectives over at the Pivotal Labs blog.
Facilitating a retro is a very powerful role; it’s almost akin to being a courthouse judge (and stenographer). By asking questions, recording testimony, and shaping the debate, you mold and influence your teammates’ feedback in a very vulnerable and trusting space. If the Product team sets goals (like a Legislature) and Development and Design teams implement them (like an Executive Branch), a retro is a chance to reflect, interpret, and set future direction—not unlike a Judiciary. In practice, that means it’s important to be especially honest and impartial, and to double-check that you’re doing justice to the team’s best interest and the speakers’ intent. Here’re a few patterns I’ve observed that help make the difference between a good retro and a bad one….
Check it out, and let me know what you think in the comments!