Very excitingly, this week we were divided up into teams to design and build a cantilever out of dried spaghetti, sellotape, and paper. We each thought up design concepts and then came together in our group to share the ideas and discuss how to construct the cantilever. During this process, on a 5 minute rotating basis, one member of the group was tracking the decision making and noting where key decisions or actions occurred. Our cantilever turned out like this:
After completing the design task, we conducted a design retrospective using the retrospective dialogue sheet shown below.
The retrospective highlighted significant issues with our design process - it was definitely a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth. We left building the bridge itself far too late throwing around far too many design ideas. We should have started testing our ideas much sooner, so we could work out what did and didn't do.
This exercise really did help me understand the use of project retrospectives. I can see how they would be useful in practice.
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