Among the most important things for an effective retrospective is to have psychological safety, and there is a statement that serves as a reminder of what that looks like in practice. That statement is known as the “Prime Directive,” and it was articulated by Norm Kerth in his book Project Retrospectives: A Handbook for Team Review. Many retrospective facilitators seek to remind participants of the Prime Directive by mentioning it during the first part of the retrospective. The Prime Directive reads as follows: “Regardless of what we discover, we understand and truly believe that everyone did the best job they could, given what they knew at the time, their skills and abilities, the resources available, and the situation at hand.”
Prime Directive Video
Prime Directive Podcasts
Prime Directive Example
Authored by Philip Rogers
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