Same or Different? Retrospectives & Post-mortems – LogiGear Magazine

Michael Hackett provides seven distinctions between retrospectives and post-mortems.

Michael Hackett

Let’s look at a few distinctions between the two process improvement practices that make all the difference in their usefulness for making projects and job situations better! An extreme way to look at the goals of these practices is: what makes your work easier (retrospective) versus what did someone else decide is best practice (post-mortem)?

First, look elsewhere for a “how-to.” There are many published materials on how to do a sprint retrospective and a post-mortem. We are looking at the differences in the mindset. To look at how post-mortems and retrospectives are different, let’s go back to the approach and foundation for these meetings. The following distinctions between the Agile and traditional software development mindset loom large in the mindset entering retrospectives and post-mortems.

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Michael Hackett
"Michael is also a co-founder of LogiGear Corporation, and has over two decades of experience in software engineering in banking, securities, healthcare and consumer electronics.

Michael is a Certified Scrum Master and has co-authored two books on software testing. Testing Applications on the Web: Test Planning for Mobile and Internet-Based Systems (Wiley, 2nd ed. 2003), available in English, Chinese and Japanese, and Global Software Test Automation (HappyAbout Publishing, 2006). He is a founding member of the Board of Advisors at the University of California Berkeley Extension and has taught for the Certificate in Software Quality Engineering and Management at the University of California Santa Cruz Extension. As a member of IEEE, his training courses have brought Silicon Valley testing expertise to over 16 countries."