Agile Retrospective and Kaizen for Agile software development

January 27, 2014
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A gathering conducted toward the close of an iteration pertaining to Agile software development is known as an Agile retrospective. The team turns back and mentally go through the different events occurred during the iteration and then try to contemplate on the improvement steps to go ahead. The following questions are being asked of each team member: • What were the good things that worked fine for the team? • What were the unfortunate things that didn’t go well for the team? • What feasible options and steps can be taken to improve the team process in the future? The Agile retrospective is similar to that of the review meetings conducted to learn the do’s and avoid the pitfalls. Lessons are learned from real past experience and the team focuses on the necessary changes needed for in the subsequent iteration. This meeting of team members are powered by themselves as they are the ones who decide the ‘how’ part on running the meetings and improvement decisions. A cordial and transparent atmosphere based on the foundation of trust is very much needed for team members to share their ideas and inputs in a relaxed manner. Primary importance is being given to continuous improvement in Agile development; hence conducting these Agile retrospective meetings should be ingrained among all members of the team as one of the most significant development practices of Agile. Kaizen is synonymous with continuous improvement, which is once again synonymous with quality, as it has a long-term perspective toward work that methodically pursues for accomplishing slight, incremental changes in processes for improving efficiency and quality. Kaizen has wide applicability to varied types of work; however it is famous for its effectiveness in lean programming and lean manufacturing. Project teams or organizations understand well that embracing Kaizen means that the sole responsibility for continuous improvement is that of all team members working on the particular project or staff working in the organization. Dr. Deming’s famous 14 Points from his book ‘Out of the Crisis’ still aid many by serving as management guidelines. He has been, time and again, credited with the philosophy fueling kaizen.

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