What if you need to deliver the best possible software products? High-quality products that do everything that your users need in a great way, products that your users will love? A futurespective is an agile retrospective where you start from the goal to find ways how to get there. Next, they will discuss their imaginary past and explore how they have gotten to their goals, by exploring the things that have helped them to get there and the things which made it hard to reach their goal. Now teams go back to the present, and the results from exploring their imaginary past are used to agree how to work together to reach the goal. Although retrospectives are mostly used to explore the current way of working, they can also be used to investigate quality issues or to agree upon actions that can improve the quality of the software that is delivered. The awesome product exercise is described in the chapter Improve Software Quality with Retrospectives of my 2nd book What Drives Quality. It takes a deep dive into quality by listing the relevant factors of development and management activities that drive the quality of software products. It provides a lean approach to quality by analyzing the full development chain from customer requests to delivering products to users. Order your copy of What Drives Quality.
Retrospective versus Futurespective
No explicit safety check (use common sense)
The concept of retrospectives is well established in the agile community as the way to incrementally improve your processes and the way the team members collaborate during their work. The idea is that by regularly looking back at the past period you may find improvement that will increase the productivity and delivered value. This concept can also be used in other contexts, for example during a project kick-off at the start of a new project and team. To get the team on track and up to speed quickly it is important that the forming process starts out nicely and that the team learns how to collaborate and get focus on their work. Iterative processes with short iteration lengths helps out here in that the team needs to get focused in order to have a successful delivery after the first iteration. But you can also help out by establishing a common goal and vision for the team immediately at the start of the project. This common goal could help the team establish better collaboration and communication patterns as well as good process and engineering practices from start that will kick-start the project. And to establish that goal you could run a retrospective from the future, a future-spective. In a future-spective you imagine that you are in the future, for example at the end of the project, and that you are performing a project retrospective to find out what contributed to the successful delivery of the project.
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How long did that take? It could be the first project release, or the first time the team move onto something new, or the first time someone realizes that what they were trying to do has worked or not. I ask people to stand up and gather in a group at the start of the timeline, then walk with me as we progress through to the future.
Telos thinking is a futurespective activity to help a team understand, verbalize and affirm their ultimate goal. Hopes and Concerns is a great activity for getting people to open up and share their hopes and concerns before getting into a session or a workshop. Running the activity[…].