Retrospectives - common or not, a small survey
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The sheets are free to download but I do request people register. My objective here is to obtain more feedback. Periodically, like today, I get the e-mail addresses of those who have downloaded and I send a polite note saying “Any feedback?”.
In registering I ask a couple of other questions. One of these questions is: “How often do you hold a retrospective?”. I thought it would be interesting to share the results of this data so far:
How often do you do a retrospective?
|38%||Every two weeks or more often|
|16%||At least once a month|
|15%||I am a retrospective facilitator and so hold many|
|3%||At least once a quarter|
|1%||About every six months|
This is good to see, about 54% of people are holding retrospectives with the frequency you would expect from a Scrum, XP or other type of Agile team. But sadly the second biggest group is never holding retrospectives, 21% of people. And 10% are holding them rarely or very occasionally.
Now think again, this data is not representative. 15% of people are not retrospective facilitators (e.g. Scrum Masters, Agile Coach, etc.). The people who download these sheets have an interest in retrospectives, this group is self-selecting.
The implications of this are that an awful lot less than 54% of people are doing retrospectives with anything near the frequency one should expect from an Agile team. Given that retrospectives are the primary means of learning in an Agile team I suspect that means that an awful lot of teams are are not really practicing Agile as described in the books.
I have long suspected that retrospectives are actually one of the more advanced Agile techniques and are far from common. I think this data supports that argument, but at the same time I think they are more common than I tended to think, maybe thats the progress of 3 years.