Scrum Foundations Course – Sprint Retrospective

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Sprint Retrospective

Next: Scrum Artifacts

In this section, we’ll learn about the Sprint Retrospective meeting. We will cover: the goal; who attends; the timebox; and the general approach to running the meeting.

The Sprint Retrospective meeting is the final event of the Sprint, held after the Sprint Review meeting. The Sprint Retrospective is one of the most important parts of Scrum. When done well, it enables the Scrum Team to continuously improve their approach to their work, Sprint after Sprint.

The goal of the meeting is to inspect and adapt the Scrum Team’s approach to their work, and all members of the Scrum Team attend.

The timebox for the Sprint Retrospective is three hours, for a one-month Sprint. For shorter Sprints, the timebox is typically shorter.

There are many effective patterns to approach running the Sprint Retrospective meeting. Three elements are common across most of these patterns:

First, the team inspects how the work was completed in the last Sprint, focusing on areas such as people, relationships, process, and tools.

Next, the attendees have a collaborative discussion to identify and order major items that went well and opportunities for improvement.

Finally, the team creates a plan for how they will roll out any chosen improvements. The plan should be specific, so that improvements are actually carried out in the next Sprint. A planned improvement that is not carried out does not help the team.

Teams that are new to Scrum often focus largely on improvements within the team itself. As improvements are made over multiple Sprints, the Scrum Team reaches a level of internal effectiveness such that the largest opportunities for improvement shift to how the Scrum Team interacts with the broader organizational system.

By constantly focusing, Sprint after Sprint, on the largest opportunities to improve, effective Scrum Teams have a larger and larger impact on the
effectiveness of the overall organization.