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Prime Directive

Posted on Oct 3, 2018 by in Agile & Lean, Facilitation & Soft Skills | 0 comments

In “Project Retrospectives: A Handbook for Team Review”, Norm Kerth introduced the “Prime Directive” for retrospectives. Many facilitators read it out at the beginning of a retrospective. The directive reminds everyone to stay collaborative, constructive and focussed on solutions rather than blame. We can’t change the past. But we can influence the future. Results are better if we stay curious rather than be accusatory – in retrospectives and most other situations as well.

There are translations in 9 languages available for this unique and important statement for creating safety in agile retrospectives.

If you hang it up in the rooms where you hold retrospectives you can refer to it when someone becomes judgemental.

[BTW, if retrospectives are important to you, consider a donation to Norm Kerth. He’s been in an accident in 1999 and is medically impaired.]

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Prime Directive for Retrospectives

“Regardless of what we discover, we understand and truly believe that everyone did the best job they could, given what they knew at the time, their skills and abilities, the resources available, and the situation at hand.”

Many facilitators read out the “Prime Directive” at the beginning of a retrospective. The directive reminds everyone to stay collaborative, constructive and focussed on solutions rather than blame. We can’t change the past. But we can influence the future. Results are better if we stay curious rather than be accusatory – in retrospectives and most other situations as well.

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