I re-visited my notes from QCon and Boris Gloger’s speech on Heartbeat Retrospectives. I have often referred to the similar values of coaching and agile methods. Actually the agile retrospective is a great way to perform a team coaching session. The purpose of the retrospective, as well as coaching, is to create awareness and making the team take responsibility for improvement. It is actually also a method of implementing the Deming cycle (Plan-Do-Check-Act).
Retrospectives are a way to look back to move forward and is often used to evaluate the recent iteration or project. But actually I like to start an improvement project or a coaching cycle using a retrospective. That way you get a good starting point if you get answers to questions like What do you do well? What could be improved? Who is in control?