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  • The Retrospective Handbook: A guide for agile teams
  • by Patrick Kua
  • Read: Dec 31, 2016
The Retrospective Handbook: A guide for agile teams book cover

This book provides a great overview of how to run good retrospectives and meetings in general. While all the recommendations and tips on there are very apt and useful I’ve found it a bit too practical and general. Most chapters are applicable to any form of meeting (which is good) but I would have loved a deeper dive into the psychological challenges and things to look out for with retrospectives.

At work we have a group of people which I’m part of that work on making sure we have good frameworks in place for blameless postmortems and organizational learning as a whole. Part of that is moving past only investigating failure (via postmortems) and also look into investigating successes (via retrospectives). So in a similar way to how I’ve spent time understanding the unhelpful concept of human error, I wanted to learn more about the theoretical concepts of successful retrospectives. Unfortunately this was completely the wrong book for this. It is a great and very practical read for retrospectives in the agile sense and how to run successful meetings in general. However I wasn’t looking for that so I constantly kept thinking when we are going to dive into the meaty, theoretical stuff. This is in no way the authors fault and I would highly recommend the book as inspiration for improving your meetings. But for the theoretical underpinnings of retrospectives as an organizational learning tool I’m still on the lookout. Let me know if you have recommendations :).