Andrew Brown
Andrew Brown
Agile Consultant

Dr. Andrew Brown is a principal consultant at SQS. He leads an independent line of research into understanding why we humans make the mistakes that lead to software defects.

He has 25 years’ experience in the software industry. Previous roles include Head of QA at HMV, Head of QA at a financial software house and a test manager in Japan.

He holds a degree in Physics and Maths, an MBA from Warwick Business School and a doctorate from Imperial College.

Paper Summary.

Paper Title:  Memory – How its failures and distortions influence retrospective.

Have you ever discussed an event in a retrospective, knowing that something is missing, but you just can’t remember what it is?

Have you ever walked out of a retrospective, but suddenly realised that no-one remembered, let alone brought up, the most important event to occur in the sprint?

Have you ever listened to someone recount an event and realised that their recollection is genuinely different from yours?

Lessons learned from a retrospective can never be more accurate than participants’ recollections of the events upon which those lessons are based.

In this session we examine our memory and how it generates a memory failure. We learn that a memory failure is more than simply outright forgetting, but also includes many different types of memory distortions.

We learn of the seven sins of memory, which represent seven different modes of memory failure, why they occur, and what we can do to counteract them.

We look at how memory distortions can be more debilitating than forgetting, as a distortion is indistinguishable from a genuine memory and every bit as vivid.

We also give some practical tips and actions that you can take to reduce your vulnerability to your memory’s shortcomings.

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