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I've been walking an Agile path since the days of XP - as a software developer, tech lead, IT manager, and scrum master/product owner/agile coach. Recently, I started work at a company that holds what they call "reflections." It's the first I've encountered this type of ceremony and searching the Internet serves up an abundance of links about retrospectives, but nothing that describes a "reflection" ceremony.

The distinction at this company seems to be that a retrospective is as one would expect - an end-of-sprint conversation focused on improving the team's process. A "reflection" occurs at less frequent intervals and, for this company, focuses on the interpersonal issues around communication and rapport. It's also distinct from what I've also encountered elsewhere as a "project retrospective," which also focuses on the teams processes and practices over an extended time frame. Up until now I have not separated out the interpersonal issues from the traditional retrospective conversations.

Has anyone else encountered the practice of "reflections" or know the origins of the practice?

  • I've never heard of this, but have you asked anyone at this company how this idea came about and try to get general impressions about what people think of it? – Thomas Owens Jun 11 '18 at 14:30
  • Ah, yes. A question so obvious I forgot to mention that I did, indeed, ask this question. The answer isn't entirely clear, but it seems to have originated with the original coach/trainer contracted to bring Agile and scrum into the organization. I have been working to ask this question of that individual, but that may take a while. I should also note that this organization is about 2 years into their Agile transformation. – 5280Angel Jun 11 '18 at 14:49
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I would imagine it is related to the 12th agile principle:

"At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly".

Reflecting is essential to agile, a retrospective is one way to do it. I've also seen teams that use Kaizen, blameless post mortems, lessons learned, and other practices.

  • I'm accepting this as the answer not just because it's the only answer offered [ :) ] but because it is in line with what I've been able to discover after further research. The idea of a "reflection" appears to have originated with the company's original trainer. The purpose was to explicitly call out interpersonal issues and avoid the possibility of their being neglected due to an over emphasis on process issues during a traditional retrospective. – 5280Angel Jun 14 '18 at 21:27
  • Cool, looks like the trainer really applied the agile mindset a d principles. – BenLinders Jun 15 '18 at 21:36

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