The ideal Sprint Retrospective

Everybody’s got their own version of the perfect Sprint Retrospective.  If you’re struggling to come up with something that works, here’s one that I do regularly.

  • Get a meeting room.  Ensure it’s just the scrum team there.
  • Get a board up and draw a few columns:
    • What we should do more of
    • What we should do less of
    • What we should stop doing
  • Give everyone a pack of post-its and pens.  Get them to (in their own time) fill out the post-its and apply them to the appropriate column.  Give them plenty of time to do this.
  • Go through each of the points and:
    • Get each person who raised the point to explain it.
    • Try and apply groupings to all the different points.
    • If there are actions, note them down.
  • Finally, give people 2-3 ticks and ask them to designate them to specific groupings.  Then just focus on the groupings that people are most excited by.

I find this works for most sprint retros.  I often break it up however to keep things interesting.  Variations include:

  • Individually speaking to Product Owners and collating their feedback.  Then introducing that in a separate session with the team so they can see another perspective of their performance.
  • Individually speaking to members of the team and doing a similar session to the above.

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