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Ep10: The Sprint Retrospective, or Retro

Today, I will cover the last, and probably my favourite of the Scrum ceremonies: the Sprint Retrospective, or Retro in short. describes the Retro as an opportunity for the team to inspect itself and create a plan for improvements to be enacted during the next Sprint. It provides a safe space for the team to reflect on and discuss what worked well, and what could be improved.
The various stages of an Agile Retrospective
It is important that at least one improvement action is identified, and included in the next Sprint plan. It is all about continuous improvement.

Keeping in mind the Retro prime directive:

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.

- Norm Kerth, Project Retrospectives: A Handbook for Team Review

It is never about blame, but all about ways to increase product quality by improving work processes.

How to run a Retrospective, or Retro

The Retro is typically run after Showcase, before the start of the next sprint. Retro’s should be fun! Feel free to take them to a café, or pub away from the usual office environment. It starts with a brainstorm for which various formats can be used. You can find some entertaining formats here: Then the comments are grouped and prioritised. The prioritised items are reviewed in greater detail, so that actions can be identified and owners assigned. Finally, include these actions in your backlog, or sprint plan and follow through!

Some tips for running an effective Retrospective

Rotate the facilitator, use the dot-voting technique to prioritise, don’t take on too many actions, focus on what’s important, don’t single out individuals (blame) as most issues arise from process/system issues.

How about a Futurespective?

New squads might want to consider a Futurespective, where they place themselves in the future by imagining that their goal has been reached. They start such a retrospectives by discussing the team goals to ensure that team members build a common understanding. The goals are formulated and written down so that they are visible for everybody. It is also used to agree upon their way of working and define a Definition of Done.

This post was first published here.


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