A Community of Practice Retrospective

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This led into small-group sharing of our project stories, where we were encouraged to try to identify the things that contributed to the success or challenges expressed in the story. This exercise helped everyone distill his or her own thoughts.

The full group reassembled for a goldfish bowl that specifically addressed whether ATDD is dead or alive. As the discussion progressed, the facilitator recorded the list of forces identified as supporting or weakening the practice.

4. Dig Deeper
The afternoon was set aside for open space sessions, where subgroups self-organized to discuss topics they identified as important. This is a valuable opportunity for people to form closer ties by addressing a focused topic in more detail, and is usually where any concrete outcomes or action plans get their start.

Next, lightning talks summarized each open space session, and provided a final opportunity for people to share their thoughts in five-minute presentations to the group.

5. Action plan
The retrospective was concluded by brainstorming ways that the AAFTT program could be improved to serve the needs of the community better and ways that the community can get more directly involved. A set of concrete action items was created to ensure that the energy created in the workshop continued after we dispersed.

Impact
The design of this community of practice retrospective enabled participants to see a variety of perspectives and gain an understanding of how everything fits into the overall picture. The widespread crosspollination of ideas and stories answered some questions and raised new ones, promoting continual learning and growth within the community. Mission accomplished!


Further Reading

A brief history of AAFTT
The AAFTT program began in 2007 with a mission to improve how agile teams perform ATDD, with an emphasis on tool support. Face-to-face workshops and an email discussion group are the main vehicles we use to build a collaborative community of ATDD practitioners and tool developers. Elisabeth Hendrickson explains more about the program in her 2008 interview.

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About the author

Jennitta Andrea's picture Jennitta Andrea

Since 1988 Jennitta Andrea has been a keen observer of teams and processes while engaged as a multi-faceted hands-on coach and practitioner (analyst, tester, developer, leader). She worked on her first agile project in 2000 and has since been involved in a wide variety of agile projects. Jennitta's writing and teaching effectively bridge theory, practice, and her observations. She has published numerous experience-based papers. Her practical, simulation-based tutorials and in-house training cover agile requirements, process adaptation, automated examples, and project retrospectives. Jennitta's work has culminated in international recognition as a thought leader in the agile community. Details at www.theandreagroup.ca.

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