Agile Retrospective Effectiveness Scale (ARES)

Agile Retrospective Effectiveness Scale (ARES)

by Esther Derby, Diana Larsen, Niki Kohari

The Agile Retrospective Effectiveness Scale (ARES) is a validated assessment dedicated to improving how you prepare, conduct, and get value out of your retrospectives.

Authored by the industry’s leading experts in Retrospectives, ARES is based on proven patterns, behaviors and norms that have helped thousands of teams and organizations improve how they work.

Created by:
Esther Derby
Esther Derby Contributing Advisor
Diana Larsen
Diana Larsen Contributing Advisor
Niki Kohari
Niki Kohari Author
Agile Retrospective Effectiveness Scale (ARES)

An Essential Continuous Improvement Activity

Effective retrospectives are an essential part of an organization’s continuous improvement efforts. By regularly inspecting how the team works, identifying improvement opportunities, and taking action to remove impediments, the team improves morale, day-to-day operations, and business outcomes.

Authored By The Leaders In the Field

The survey items in ARES are created by the undisputed leaders in the Retrospective domain. Esther Derby and Diana Larsen wrote the standard on Agile Retrospectives, Niki Kohari is the COO at Retrium, and certified as a professional leadership coach, scrum master, and mindfulness meditation facilitator.

Key Dimensions to Deliver Value

ARES will quickly reveal how your team perceives it is doing against 6 key dimensions associated with effective Retrospectives. Use the insights as an invitation to a conversation among members of the team - and supercharge your Retrospectives by improving where it matters.

Concrete Patterns That Foster Better Teams

Agile Retrospective Effectiveness Scale

At its very essence, becoming more agile requires continuously improving how you work - to be better today than you were yesterday. Conducting effective Retrospectives is a time-tested, practical way to manifest continuous improvement at all levels of your organization. But how do you conduct Retrospectives that are consistently productive and provide meaningful change? What are the norms and behaviors that convert a Retrospective from a “meeting” to a transformative event? ARES is built on expertise from the world’s preeminent Retrospective thought leaders and observable results from thousands of teams that successfully leverage Retrospectives as an essential element of a continuous improvement strategy.

Agile Retrospective Effectiveness Scale (ARES)

At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.

The Agile Manifesto, 2001

Sample Survey Items

My team’s retrospectives are worth the time that we invest in the meeting.
I feel more connected to my team after our retrospectives.
My team has a working agreement that outlines how we run retrospectives.
My team’s retrospectives build trust.
I believe all the members of my team feel comfortable bringing up difficult topics during our retrospectives.
Opposing viewpoints can co-exist in our retrospectives.
My team has a retrospective at regular intervals.
My team’s retrospective action items have a due date.
My team’s retrospectives produce direct action items for improvement.

Sample Survey Items

Constructing Engaging Meetings

My team’s retrospectives are worth the time that we invest in the meeting.

Constructing Engaging Meetings

I feel more connected to my team after our retrospectives.

Constructing Engaging Meetings

My team has a working agreement that outlines how we run retrospectives.
Load More

Top Features

Identify insights from an assessment instrument created by the foremost experts in the Retrospective domain.

Give your teams a voice - and identify areas of improvement, accelerate improvement efforts and embed a culture of continuous improvement.

Gain insights expeditiously - perform analysis at the team, program and organizational levels.

Gauge effectiveness across teams in your organization and benchmark against other organizations in your industry.

Identify insights from an assessment instrument created by the foremost experts in the Retrospective domain.

Give your teams a voice - and identify areas of improvement, accelerate improvement efforts and embed a culture of continuous improvement.

Gain insights expeditiously - perform analysis at the team, program and organizational levels.

Gauge effectiveness across teams in your organization and benchmark against other organizations in your industry.

Esther Derby

Esther Derby

Meeting Facilitation Expert

Diana Larsen

Diana Larsen

Meeting Facilitation Expert

Niki Kohari

Niki Kohari

COO at Retrium

Esther Derby

Esther draws on four decades of experience leading, observing, and living through organizational change. Esther started her career as a programmer, and quickly realized that while her job description referred to computers, her real work involved changing the way people worked, and supporting them though that process. In 1997, she founded esther derby associates, inc., and works with a broad array of clients from Fortune 500 companies to start ups. Her approach blends attention to humans and deep knowledge of complex adaptive systems. In addition to consulting, Esther has an extensive background in designing and leading experiential learning. She teaches workshops both on-line and in-person around the world. Her workshops support leaders to explore how they can adapt the environment to amplify empowerment, engage in joint problem-solving, and evolve their systems towards better results.

Diana Larsen

A visionary pragmatist, Diana Larsen is Chief Connector at the Agile Fluency® Project, where we hold a vision of an inspiring future: “Every agile software teams practices Agile Software Development at a level of fluent proficiency that specifically fits their businesses’ needs.” Devoted to the success of all Agile coaches and teams, Diana co-authored books *Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great*; *Liftoff: Start and Sustain Successful Agile Teams*; *Five Rules for Accelerated Learning*; and co-originated the Agile Fluency™ Model. Diana co-wrote the seminal “Agile Fluency Model: A Brief Guide to Success with Agile” article with James Shore, co-founder of the Agile Fluency Project. She collaborates closely with an extended network of consultants and other colleagues. Diana discovers solutions and possibilities where others find only barriers and obstacles.

Niki Kohari

Niki Kohari is a serial entrepreneur, author, and lifelong learner on a mission to create happy and fulfilled leaders, teams, and organizations. She is currently the COO at Retrium, a product that enables teams to have engaging and effective agile retrospectives, and she has over a decade of experience in high-growth software startups at various stages. In addition, she is certified as a professional leadership coach, scrum master, and mindfulness meditation facilitator.

Try it out now!

Fuel data-driven continuous improvement efforts at the team, program and organizational levels through uncommon insights and actionable feedback.