Tales of the Bizarro Scrum – Canceling the Sprint Retrospective

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ScrumMaster: “I’ve cancelled this week’s retrospective since we have all these production issues to tackle.”

This one is a slippery slope. If the site is down, then the focus should be on getting it back up as quickly as possible. However, I hear the same arguments around automated testing, good design practices, and minimizing technical debt. “Team, we need to deliver. The client is counting on us. So, let us forget about the tests, and let us forget about good design principles, etc…” Problem is, once we let one thing slip, it is usually downhill from there and we quickly get ourselves in more trouble.

In this case, does the entire team need to be tackling production issues, or maybe we have too many cooks in the kitchen?

It is important to have a retrospective because of all the production issues. The retrospective needs to focus on 2 things – Immediate action items to get the site back up, and longer term action items to avoid this situation to begin with. If we do not pause and address these issues, then we will keep spiraling out of control and we will likely see a repeat in the next couple of Sprints or so.