Simple ideas can be powerful. Last week Niels Malotaux introduced me to the “prespective”—the idea that instead of waiting to the end of an iteration to look back on what slowed you down, you do so at the beginning. You ask yourselves: “What is going to slow us down this iteration/today, and how will we stop it before it even happens?”
I like the idea of the prespective. It’s giving people a chance to act ahead of time—to be explicit about having some control over their future, and not become a victim to it. It forces people to think about potential problems (such as interruptions), and therefore to have an immediate strategy when they arise.
I suspect it’s particularly powerful for looking ahead at the day, rather than the week or iteration. Because then we’re considering simpler things (phone calls, specific meetings, etc) rather than grand things (e.g. architectural problems) and our resulting actions become simpler and more achievable. And then we can still use a retrospective to look back on an entire iteration.
The prespective is definitely an idea I’ll be using in the future to help bring focus to teams. Meanwhile, if you want some other simple but powerful ideas along similar lines, take a look at Niels’s page of mantras.