It's so easy to form rash opinions on subjects I know so little about.
Retrospectives: love them.
Planning: not as much.
Here's why: I attended a "retrospective" on an event I did not attend, but had helped to publicize. (I work in marketing and communications -- has anyone ever run an Agile Marcomm department? More on that some other time...) Everyone was there -- planners, attenders, speakers, vendors (at least from our company). Ideas were shouted out and listed in a couple of categories (what worked/didn't work/do better next time). All ideas were valid and noted, and after an hour I was energized and inspired about doing the same event the next time it rolled around -- bigger and better, of course.
But when it comes to planning, the same approach doesn't work as well (read: work as well for me). In planning sessions, again, all ideas are noted, and then prioritized and assigened to people and into iterations (read: Sprints). But: ALL ideas? There consistently seem to be too many, and we never finish our pile before the next planning brainstorm meeting. To me, all those clever plans and tasks that might be nice but are not important are just noise. They leave me with a sense of incompletion and overwhelm whenever I confront my to-do list (read: Sprint plan).
Is that the idea? What's wrong with tossing things off the list? Surely there must be a way a planning meeting can leave me as excited and raring to go as that retrospective did...