Iteration retrospective

I am looking for some input regarding the following. A colleague of mine feels that if there is a problem or "perceived" problem on a delivery team it should be brought up in "public" in an iteration retrospective with the whole team?

Hypothetical situation: You have a talented senior developer who is an introvert and does not like conflict and when he sees a problem with another programmers code instead of providing feedback to the other developer, often a junior developer, he just fixes the code. So he isn't sharing his knowledge and thus not providing an opportunity for that team member to develop.

Let's say a scrum master is facilitating the retropsective,  should the scrum master bring this up to the whole team at the at the retrospective? Or is it more appropriate to discuss this with the senior developer individually first? I would think you wouldn't blindisde the developer with this at the retropsective unless you have discussed this with the team member and the lack of knowledge sharing is limiting the ability of the more junior members from advancing their knowledge and capabilities and is truly considered a problem?

Assume they are aren't on an XP team and they are not pair programming. But even so would this make a huge difference?

Ineterested in what the collective intellect and experienced agile practitioners say about this.



admin's picture

I have personally faced this situation where Sr. member is good enough to resolve an issue but not really motivated to share how it can be done. First thing I would do as manager, i would not freak out. Understand that its normal human behaviour. There is nothing like "We need to talk" situation. The Sr. person is good at his work and needs to be handled with care :) ...  There are number of ways to solve this based on limited knowledge of situation I have.

1.  Instruct the Junior developer to ask some basic questions when helped by Sr. Person.  After that Jr. person can do some research  and then go back to Sr.  with some clarification questions rather than a complete dump from Sr.  This will create respect for Jr. in eyes of Sr. and he will be more open to share details. 

2.  Appreciate the Sr. person "You did really good", would you like to put down few points for our next introspection. Give him stage to present how he solved the issue.  Introverts will become open when they see "What's in it for me"... 

3. Some mentoring is also required to Sr. person to make him understand that sharing knowledge makes him the teacher of that and does not take away his job.  Earns respect and gets more ideas from others.



Dear Admin,

Thank you for your reply. These are all excellent suggestions and I can see how following this approach will benefit all involved without putting the Sr. Dev on the spot.

Great feedback and again thank you.


admin's picture

We used to have knowledge management metrics report, which had to be submitted monthly and on quarterly basis team has to show some major contribution to knowledge artifacts. If nothing works create a knowledge management metrics and make Sr. person in-charge or Leader of the same