Friday, March 5, 2010

Retrospectives as Perspectives

(although the visual pun works better in German).

At last Wednesday's Scrum Breakfast in Zürich, Hans-Peter Korn presented an approach to conducting Retrospectives based on the Solutions Focus Method (which Adrian Cockburn translated in to the Delta Method). The idea is that a retrospective is like prospecting for gold: Building on your strengths and looking for improvements to make your life and work better.

Once I understood the Delta Method (which I didn't until I read Alistair's article), I had a real 'Eureka!'-Moment. The idea is simple: Don't than focus on a) what you are doing wrong or b) the unreachable goal on the horizon. This doesn't help. Reflect on where you have come from (things are better now than they used to be) and what is the next step in your to making things  (even just a little bit) better?

Alistair visualized this with a picture:

I have found this approach to be enormously helpful in implementing change processes. It gives people encouragement, helps them understand what they have accomplished, and makes the goals ahead seem much more achievable.

You can find download the presentation here. You may need to ask for the password.