Advanced Practices for Effective Retrospectives

Advanced Practices for Effective Retrospectives with Diana Larsen and Michigan Technology Services


Michigan Technology Services offers instructor-led Advanced Practices for Effective Retrospectives training, as well as other Agile and Scrum courses, through a partnership with Diana Larsen.

In a pre-Covid world our training would take place at our location in the Farmington Hills/Novi area, 20 miles outside of Detroit, or at your location anywhere around the world. Our Agile workshops and Agile coaching sessions are now offered online/virtually, reducing your need to travel.

While many educators fly into metro Detroit to deliver Scrum and Agile classes at a hotel, and then leave, our core group of trainers and coaches live here and support the local Agile community. We continue to sponsor regional Agile conferences and meetups. We have successfully run Agile Leadership, ScrumMaster and Product Owner courses for multiple teams from globally recognized organizations.

What is Advanced Practices for Effective Retrospectives training?

Every team has the potential for learning from their immediate past experience. Whether they found success or failure. Well-designed and facilitated Agile Retrospectives capture that potential. In effective retrospectives team’s find opportunities to improve any process, product, or workplace.

Smart teams and organizations hold retrospective meetings throughout their work cycles. They mark important release milestones. Well-prepared retrospective leaders help team members examine and learn from their own performance. Team members explore experience, expand their capacity, and increase capability. They forge ways to upgrade their outcomes. To call themselves “agile”, teams must find ways to “reflect, tune, and adapt” in better ways.

But there’s a catch. As Agile Retrospectives become routine, they can become stale and boring. Boring meetings deliver less (or no) value to the team. How do you prevent this?

Keep your Agile Retrospective practice fresh! Renew the emphasis on team learning, collective analysis, and collaborative decision making. Bring new activities and group processes to the meeting to stimulate innovative thinking.

In this workshop you’ll discover advanced uses for the Flexible Framework for Retrospectives. You’ll explore how to spread the search for greatness across the organization. Diana will show how to incorporate the five easy rules for accelerated learning. Share new team activities with colleagues. Enlarge your own repertoire. Gain practice in designing and facilitating effective Agile Retrospectives.

Bring life back to Agile with this multi-day online workshop.

Course Outline:

Day 1 (four hours):

  • Introductions – including practice with new activities to “Set the Stage”
  • Explore the Why – purposeful agile retrospectives, benefits and outcomes
  • The Challenge – Many individuals learning, thinking, and collaborating on improvement actions
  • Focus on Learning – Why learning matters for complex work & Five easy rules
  • What? So What? Now What? – Adaptive Action Cycle for initiating and responding to change
  • The Complicating Factors – Planning logistics
  • Deliberate Practice Assignment

Day 2 (four hours)

  • Morning News/Overnight Insights
  • A Flexible Framework for Retrospectives – Scalable, Generalizable
  • Explore and practice new approaches to “Set the Stage” – Getting started
  • Explore and practice new group activities to “Gather Data” – The What
  • Explore and practice new group activities to “Generate Insights” – The So What
  • Explore and practice new group activities to “Decide What To Do” – The Now What
  • Explore and practice new group activities to “Close the Retrospective” – Move to action
  • Deliberate Practice Assignment

Day 3 (four hours)

  • Design the Right Retro Right – Applying five easy rules
  • Designing Agile Retrospectives – Continuous Learning leads to Continuous Improvement
  • Future Deliberate Practice – Moving forward
  • Resources and References


Experience with facilitating or participating in Agile Retrospectives for work in teams

Recommended Texts

“Agile Retrospectives” by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen

“Five Rules of Accelerated Learning” by Willem Larsen and Diana Larsen

Your Workshop Leader:

Diana Larsen will teach this workshop. In 2015 Diana Larsen co-founded Agile Fluency® Project* where she serves as Chief Connector and a principal coach, consultant, and mentor. AFP provides training, mentoring, and support for agile coaches, consultants, and leaders, Through the Agile Fluency Project’s programs, Diana shares the wisdom she’s gained in over 30 years of working with leaders, teams, and organizations.

Through her books, talks, and work with corporate clients, Diana has contributed to both foundations and extensions of Agile thought. Diana co-authored the books Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great; Liftoff: Start and Sustain Successful Agile Teams; and Five Rules for Accelerated Learning. Most recently she co-authored and offers a free eBook, The Agile Fluency Model: A Brief Guide to Success with Agile, available on the website.

*Agile Fluency is a registered trademark of Agile Fluency Project. LLC

Additional Benefits of taking our Advanced Practices for Effective Retrospectives course

Participants are eligible for Scrum Educational and Professional Development Units


The July 2021 Advanced Practices for Effective Retrospectives workshop sold out.   Our next workshop will be in 2023. 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM EST over 3 days.  The regular course fee is $ 795/student, but early enrollment is often $ 655/student.

Want an Advanced Practices for Effective Retrospectives workshop for your team?

Private classes for groups are available upon request. Contact us by email or call 248-489-0408 for details.

For complete information on Agile and Scrum Training classes or to request a class date contact Michigan Technology Services. 248-489-0408

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