Yesterday I had the opportunity to lead a retrospective for the last class session of a new course at Portland State University. Jim Shore and Andrew Black put together a four week, 11 session (7 classes and 4 labs), course on Extreme Programming for twelve enthusiastic students - a few undergraduates, a few graduates students, a few students from local industry. As the last day, they hosted Ward Cunningham in the morning, showed demos of their work over a pizza lunch, and ended the course with a retrospective. Jim and Andrew craftily persuaded several local Agilistas (like Ward, Arlo Belshee and me) to participate on an intermittent basis.
When Jim asked me to lead their course retrospective, my answer was a no-brainer. After two years on the Agile Alliance board, wrestling with ideas about ways to better to support academic programs for Agile, how could I refuse? :-) Jim found my weak spot.
During the retrospective the students and instructors thought together and worked through several activities. I told them they could find most of the activities in Esther's and my book, but not all. We tried some activities I've heard about since the book was printed, too. I had a great time, and on the ROTI scale (if you don't know about it, you must not have the book yet ;-) ), they gave the process an average of 3.1 out of 4! Definitely an indicator of time well spent for all of us.
At the end of the class, I couldn't resist the opportunity to reference Jutta Eckstein (and others), with the quote, "If you aren't holding retrospectives on your projects, you aren't doing Agile!"