One thought on “The Retrospective Prime Directive”

  1. Interesting read, certainly. I have never been enamored by the retrospective prime directive. Reading this helped me see why. Linda and others talk about pretending to believe, i.e. faking it, and Ilja Preuß wisely points out that this is inauthentic behavior. I added my own comment to the thread which is pasted here:

    //…authenticity is essential to personal and team development.

    My experience on retrospectives has been that team members not performing well, or getting distracted will own up to it themselves, thus removing the need for anyone to believe (or pretend to believe) otherwise. That is when the process feels healthy. Rather than faking this belief thing, I feel it is better to foster a culture throughout the daily working life that allows people to fail, to be distracted, to goof off — and to own their behavior.

    The retrospective is not a time to evaluate performance, I agree, but it is also not a time to lie about reality.

    I think perhaps the prime directive is an outmoded idea more suitable to teams not used to discussing things openly. I hope most Agile teams these days are beyond that. //

    I sometimes feel that too often in this community we accept things as “the truth” without really questioning them. Within this massive paradigm shift we are all a part of we should question everything.

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