Retrospectives: They're Not Just For Developers Anymore

Esther Derby, Esther Derby Associates Inc

Traditional methods for improving testing include training, hiring, adding new processes, building infrastructure, and buying new tools. But what about increasing the capability of the team? Author Aldous Huxley said, "Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him." The same is true for software teams: It's what we do with our experience that matters. Too often, we don't do much-if anything-to squeeze learning out of our experience. Retrospectives are a way to take the "what happened" during a software project and use it to build understanding. Testing borrows a page from adult learning theory and project reviews to increase team capability through Testing Retrospectives, and determines how to do more of what worked and less of what didn't.

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