Scrum Events : Sprint Retrospective

The Sprint Retrospective is the point where the scrum team - in private - Inspect and Adapt the Process

The Sprint Retrospective (often referred to as the 'retro') is the last activity carried out by the Scrum team in the sprint. It is a mandatory meeting, like all other scrum events.  The maximum timebox is two hours for a two-week sprint, or four hours for a one-month sprint.

This event supports the following principles:

  • Agile: At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.
  • DevOps : Third Way: Build a culture of continuous improvement

Behind Closed Doors

  • Retrospectives are private to the Scrum Team
    • No one else can attend because it affects the behaviour
  • If the Product Owner is in any position of authority or line management of the team then they should not attend as their presence will restrict the flow of feedback
    • If The Scrum master is in such a position, they should not attend either, but in such a case you will probably be having lots of other problems

Level the field

  • Use techniques that allow quiet voices to be heard, alongside the (usual) loud ones

Structure the conversation

  • Use structured conversation techniques to guide the process so nothing gets missed and the discussion proceeds effectively

Actionable decisions

  • Every meeting must end with actions based on decisions made by the team, otherwise it runs the risk of just turning into a regular gripe session
  • Focus on actions thatthe team itself can implement, in the following sprint

Stick with the same format

  • The primary focus of Retrospectives is not about having fun (but we are allowed to have fun!);
    • it is about gaining insights
  • Stick with one process that we can master over time through repetition and practice
  • Our recommended approach is silent writing and the ORID/WHOA technique
    • ORID and WHOA are the same technique, worded differently



 Observations | Silent writing while each team member writes down what they observe happening now 
 Discuss | One by one the team members post their tickets to a wall or whitebaord and discuss their observations
 Categorize | After everyones tickets are up, move them into categories for voting
 Dot Vote | Each participant has 3 votes, which they can assign across the choice or choices they want to discuss further
 Analyze |  Select | Select the top voted category for further analysis
 Analyze |  Reflections | For the current category the team discusses how they would prefer things to operate
 Analyze |  Options | For the current category the team discusses available Options to change how things are to how they want them to be
 Analyze |  Decisions | For the current category the team decides which options to pursue and identifies actions to do so
 Repeat | If the timebox has not expired, the team moves to the next category and repeats the process
 Actions | When time-box is nearly expired the Team selects and assigns the actions they want to pursue in the coming sprint