CHOW #166 – Recency Effect

Every Agile Team knows that Retrospectives are one of the important feedback mechanisms for Continuous Improvement.

While doing a release level retro, where, say the release spans across 4 months, how to avoid the ‘Recency Effect’?

Suggested Solution

We remember recent events or information from near past and this has greater impact on our thoughts / decisions.

During a release retrospective one of the method team could deploy is to create an event time line.

Draw a line from start date to end date of the release
Calibrate the line into monthly intervals
The team could add stickies with events marked (one item per stickie) above the time line (events could be critical scope added, team member joined or left, stakeholder decisions, tech challenges or achievements, etc)
Once the events are marked, the team then would mark what went well / did not go well for every marked event.
This could help overcome the recency effect.

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