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I have the following question. My team consists of tech lead that has been driving also the development process and a newly assigned team lead. The tech lead is reporting not to the team lead but to the department lead. Now the new team lead wants to establish team retrospective once a month for example. I have two questons:

If the tech lead is responsible for the development process isn t the retrospective part of this development process and as such falling under the responsibility of the tech lead. The instructions to the team lead is that he should be responsible for the people managment but not to the development process.

The second question is in the retrospectives in the company I am positioned at very often there is voting on the tickets. If a ticket gets a lot of votes wouldn't it effectivly be a decision and as such take precedence over anything tech lead has decided. Example suddenly someone places in the retrospective idea that the team needs specific process for code review people vote on it and then bang you get a new process for code review that may be incompatible with tech lead vision.

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    "Retrospective" is normally part of a Scrum process. Is the team doing Scrum? If not, what does Retrospective mean for you? What do you mean by "voting on the tickets"? Do you mean voting to decide which pieces of work get done? That's not part of a Retrospective in Scrum. Commented May 17 at 22:38
  • No we don’t do scrum.
    – Pesho
    Commented May 17 at 22:50
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    No idea to be honest where is this retrospektive coming from.
    – Pesho
    Commented May 17 at 22:50
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    @What does Retrospective mean for you? What gets done there? And who is expected to define the development process? Team lead? The team? And what are the tickets that get voted on? What does the team lead do? What is your role? Please edit all this info into the question. Commented May 17 at 22:52
  • The existence of a separate tech lead and team lead imply the existence of distinct definitions of "tech" and "team" concepts, but this question seems to lump it all together, which is always going to collide with the team having two masters.
    – Flater
    Commented May 20 at 1:22

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A retrospective in the broader sense is just a meeting to look back at the last month/week/development cycle and identify achievements and problems. That then can lead to a discussion of how any perceived problems could be addressed. It is a way to improve on your processes mostly. In many agile development ideologies/frameworks it might have more concrete roles (on top of this general definition). Some teams may also use it to do sprint planning or the like.

Tech Lead = Technology, Team lead = people and processes

Since the main focus in this broader sense is process oriented, normally this is more on the people and process management side of things and thus a manager would organize it. In most organizations where there is differentiation between tech lead and team lead/manager, the main idea is that the tech lead can focus on technology and development in a technical sense, while the manager takes care of people and processes. And while there is some overlap on the processes part, i.e. it makes no sense to change ticket flows without consulting the tech lead or all developers to ascertain whether that change is helpful/makes sense for the developers, the administrative execution often lies with the team lead, so the tech lead can focus on other more complex issues.

Thus, unless your company deviates strongly in how they organize their retrospectives and what they do in those retrospectives, I'd say it is normal for the manager to organize the retrospective.

That does not mean that they can overrule the tech lead by discussing tech issues in the retrospective but the tech lead should also take any discussions that show strong preferences by the team for some technical aspects into consideration - it can be very valid feedback and no formal authority can persuade a team to perform at their best as full buy in of the team can.

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