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Distributed Retrospectives

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  • Declan Whelan
    Hi, I am working with a team that has 3 members in Germany, 1 in the US and a bunch in Canada. We have been using a Wiki to share information in pseudo real
    Message 1 of 7 , Oct 6, 2008
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      Hi,

      I am working with a team that has 3 members in Germany, 1 in the US
      and a bunch in Canada. We have been using a Wiki to share information
      in pseudo real time during the retrospectives and it has worked
      reasonably well.

      I am looking for ways to improve this though. Specifically, we use
      cards in Canada and one person transcribes them to the Wiki so all can
      see. We sometimes have contention on Wiki editing and there is often a
      time lag in getting the Wiki updated with all the inputs.

      I have considered using Google docs but am a little hesitant that it
      may lead to *everyone* having a keyboard in front of them. I can think
      of some ways to alleviate but thought I would ask if anyone has
      suggestions. I am also looking for tools that would enable some of the
      retrospective formats suggested by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen.

      All ideas welcome!

      Cheers,

      Declan
    • Noah Jacobson
      Declan, Perhaps the technology you need to solve this problem isn t a better way of sharing the text of the cards, but a way of showing the cards themselves.
      Message 2 of 7 , Oct 7, 2008
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        Declan,

        Perhaps the technology you need to solve this problem isn't a better way of sharing the text of the cards, but a way of showing the cards themselves. If you only deal with a small number of cards, would they be readable if you placed a good quality web came a few feet above the table?

        -Noah

        --- On Tue, 10/7/08, Declan Whelan <dwhelan@...> wrote:
        From: Declan Whelan <dwhelan@...>
        Subject: [XP] Distributed Retrospectives
        To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Tuesday, October 7, 2008, 2:16 AM











        Hi,



        I am working with a team that has 3 members in Germany, 1 in the US

        and a bunch in Canada. We have been using a Wiki to share information

        in pseudo real time during the retrospectives and it has worked

        reasonably well.



        I am looking for ways to improve this though. Specifically, we use

        cards in Canada and one person transcribes them to the Wiki so all can

        see. We sometimes have contention on Wiki editing and there is often a

        time lag in getting the Wiki updated with all the inputs.



        I have considered using Google docs but am a little hesitant that it

        may lead to *everyone* having a keyboard in front of them. I can think

        of some ways to alleviate but thought I would ask if anyone has

        suggestions. I am also looking for tools that would enable some of the

        retrospective formats suggested by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen.



        All ideas welcome!



        Cheers,



        Declan


























        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Keith Ray
        I ve seen video-conferencing + text chat work for distributed retrospectives. A local person on the text chat will write index cards on behalf of the non-local
        Message 3 of 7 , Oct 7, 2008
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          I've seen video-conferencing + text chat work for distributed
          retrospectives. A local person on the text chat will write index cards on
          behalf of the non-local participants.

          Of course, the video quality isn't good enough for the non-local members to
          read index cards, but they can hear the participants read the cards aloud
          when the post them on the wall.

          On Mon, Oct 6, 2008 at 11:16 PM, Declan Whelan <dwhelan@...> wrote:

          > Hi,
          >
          > I am working with a team that has 3 members in Germany, 1 in the US
          > and a bunch in Canada. We have been using a Wiki to share information
          > in pseudo real time during the retrospectives and it has worked
          > reasonably well.
          >
          > I am looking for ways to improve this though. Specifically, we use
          > cards in Canada and one person transcribes them to the Wiki so all can
          > see. We sometimes have contention on Wiki editing and there is often a
          > time lag in getting the Wiki updated with all the inputs.
          >
          > I have considered using Google docs but am a little hesitant that it
          > may lead to *everyone* having a keyboard in front of them. I can think
          > of some ways to alleviate but thought I would ask if anyone has
          > suggestions. I am also looking for tools that would enable some of the
          > retrospective formats suggested by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen.
          >
          > All ideas welcome!
          >
          > Cheers,
          >
          > Declan
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------
          >
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          --
          C. Keith Ray, IXP Coach, Industrial Logic, Inc.
          http://industriallogic.com 866-540-8336 (toll free)
          Groove with our Agile Greatest Hits:
          http://www.industriallogic.com/elearning/
          http://agilesolutionspace.blogspot.com/


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • zzzuperfly
          http://www.planningpoker.com/ ... better way of sharing the text of the cards, but a way of showing the cards themselves. If you only deal with a small number
          Message 4 of 7 , Oct 8, 2008
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            http://www.planningpoker.com/


            --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, Noah Jacobson <ncj102@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Declan,
            >
            > Perhaps the technology you need to solve this problem isn't a
            better way of sharing the text of the cards, but a way of showing the
            cards themselves. If you only deal with a small number of cards,
            would they be readable if you placed a good quality web came a few
            feet above the table?
            >
            > -Noah
            >
            > --- On Tue, 10/7/08, Declan Whelan <dwhelan@...> wrote:
            > From: Declan Whelan <dwhelan@...>
            > Subject: [XP] Distributed Retrospectives
            > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
            > Date: Tuesday, October 7, 2008, 2:16 AM
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Hi,
            >
            >
            >
            > I am working with a team that has 3 members in Germany, 1 in the US
            >
            > and a bunch in Canada. We have been using a Wiki to share
            information
            >
            > in pseudo real time during the retrospectives and it has worked
            >
            > reasonably well.
            >
            >
            >
            > I am looking for ways to improve this though. Specifically, we use
            >
            > cards in Canada and one person transcribes them to the Wiki so all
            can
            >
            > see. We sometimes have contention on Wiki editing and there is
            often a
            >
            > time lag in getting the Wiki updated with all the inputs.
            >
            >
            >
            > I have considered using Google docs but am a little hesitant that it
            >
            > may lead to *everyone* having a keyboard in front of them. I can
            think
            >
            > of some ways to alleviate but thought I would ask if anyone has
            >
            > suggestions. I am also looking for tools that would enable some of
            the
            >
            > retrospective formats suggested by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen.
            >
            >
            >
            > All ideas welcome!
            >
            >
            >
            > Cheers,
            >
            >
            >
            > Declan
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • James Carr
            Our retrospectives include business analysts and customers from the other side of the country... we use video conference plus co-facilitation (one on their
            Message 5 of 7 , Oct 10, 2008
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              Our retrospectives include business analysts and customers from the
              other side of the country... we use video conference plus
              co-facilitation (one on their side, one on our side) and it seems to
              work extremely well. In activities that use post ti notes or sticky
              index cards, we usually just have our customers tell us what they
              have, write it down and put it on the board.

              Works well so far. ;)

              Thanks,
              James

              On Tue, Oct 7, 2008 at 1:16 AM, Declan Whelan <dwhelan@...> wrote:
              > Hi,
              >
              > I am working with a team that has 3 members in Germany, 1 in the US
              > and a bunch in Canada. We have been using a Wiki to share information
              > in pseudo real time during the retrospectives and it has worked
              > reasonably well.
              >
              > I am looking for ways to improve this though. Specifically, we use
              > cards in Canada and one person transcribes them to the Wiki so all can
              > see. We sometimes have contention on Wiki editing and there is often a
              > time lag in getting the Wiki updated with all the inputs.
              >
              > I have considered using Google docs but am a little hesitant that it
              > may lead to *everyone* having a keyboard in front of them. I can think
              > of some ways to alleviate but thought I would ask if anyone has
              > suggestions. I am also looking for tools that would enable some of the
              > retrospective formats suggested by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen.
              >
              > All ideas welcome!
              >
              > Cheers,
              >
              > Declan
              >
              >
            • dwoldrich
              Declan, please try http://CardMeeting.com CardMeeting works well when paired with a conference call for managing a distributed retrospective. I d be
              Message 6 of 7 , Oct 11, 2008
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                Declan, please try http://CardMeeting.com

                CardMeeting works well when paired with a conference call for managing
                a distributed retrospective. I'd be interested to hear if it can do
                the job for you.

                Shameless plug disclaimer, CardMeeting is my website. ;)

                Thanks,
                Dave Woldrich

                --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, Noah Jacobson <ncj102@...>
                wrote:
                >
                > Declan,
                >
                > Perhaps the technology you need to solve this problem isn't a better
                way of sharing the text of the cards, but a way of showing the cards
                themselves. If you only deal with a small number of cards, would they
                be readable if you placed a good quality web came a few feet above the
                table?
                >
                > -Noah
                >
                > --- On Tue, 10/7/08, Declan Whelan <dwhelan@...> wrote:
                > From: Declan Whelan <dwhelan@...>
                > Subject: [XP] Distributed Retrospectives
                > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                > Date: Tuesday, October 7, 2008, 2:16 AM
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > Hi,
                >
                >
                >
                > I am working with a team that has 3 members in Germany, 1 in the US
                >
                > and a bunch in Canada. We have been using a Wiki to share information
                >
                > in pseudo real time during the retrospectives and it has worked
                >
                > reasonably well.
                >
                >
                >
                > I am looking for ways to improve this though. Specifically, we use
                >
                > cards in Canada and one person transcribes them to the Wiki so all can
                >
                > see. We sometimes have contention on Wiki editing and there is often a
                >
                > time lag in getting the Wiki updated with all the inputs.
                >
                >
                >
                > I have considered using Google docs but am a little hesitant that it
                >
                > may lead to *everyone* having a keyboard in front of them. I can think
                >
                > of some ways to alleviate but thought I would ask if anyone has
                >
                > suggestions. I am also looking for tools that would enable some of the
                >
                > retrospective formats suggested by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen.
                >
                >
                >
                > All ideas welcome!
                >
                >
                >
                > Cheers,
                >
                >
                >
                > Declan
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
              • Pete Johns
                ... Dave, Thank you so much for this! We had found attendees in remote offices could not participate fully in the retros over the telephone or the video link,
                Message 7 of 7 , Dec 2, 2008
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                  --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "dwoldrich" <dwoldrich@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > Declan, please try http://CardMeeting.com
                  >
                  > CardMeeting works well when paired with a conference call for managing
                  > a distributed retrospective. I'd be interested to hear if it can do
                  > the job for you.
                  >
                  > Shameless plug disclaimer, CardMeeting is my website. ;)
                  >
                  Dave,

                  Thank you so much for this!

                  We had found attendees in remote offices could not participate fully
                  in the retros over the telephone or the video link, especially with
                  Post-It notes being stuck to a whiteboard that they couldn't see and
                  couldn't add to. Even when the facilitator has offered to act as a
                  proxy to stick notes on the board, the remote attendees haven't taken
                  them up on this.

                  So... this iteration we used CardMeeting. The 'meeting' was open the
                  day before the actual retro and participants were invited to place
                  their cards into the meeting. This meant that our retrospective was
                  easier to facilitate and easier to follow for people not in the
                  meeting room. Everyone was in agreement that this made our
                  retrospective more productive. For the next iteration, the meeting
                  will be available throughout the iteration so people can post their
                  thoughts while they are fresh in their mind.

                  Being able to export to an Excel spreadsheet is great, too. It means
                  that the 'board' can be stored with the retro action items in our wiki.

                  This is a particularly useful tool, so thank you again!


                  --paj
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