Part I Structural Antipatterns – Retrospectives Antipatterns

Part I Structural Antipatterns

Wheel of Fortune …in which the team jumps to conclusions in the retrospective by solving symptoms instead of problems, and the facilitator makes the team members spend time on finding the causes behind the symptoms

Prime Directive Ignorance …in which the team members ignore the Prime Directive—“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” (Kerth 2001)—because they find it ridiculous, and the facilitator reminds them how important this mindset is for a successful retrospective

In the Soup …in which team members discuss things that are outside their power to change, and the facilitator helps them focus their energy on what they can change and accept what they cannot change

Overtime …in which the team gets sidetracked at the retrospective by talking about one development that is not the most important for the team as a whole, and the facilitator helps the team get back on track

Small Talk …in which the team members spend time on small talk in small groups instead of focusing on sharing and learning, and the facilitator changes the activities to make them work together as a team again

Unfruitful Democracy …in which, to the frustration of the minority in the team, democracy is used to decide what to discuss and what to do, and the facilitator finds other ways of deciding that makes everyone happier

Nothing to Talk About …in which the team believes it has become so good that it doesn’t need retrospectives, and the facilitator shows the team how it can learn to keep improving

Political Vote …in which the team members wait until the last moment to vote in order to game the system, and the facilitator finds a way to make the voting system more fair