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What is a retrospective?

The Retrospective is the event in Agile which brings in the iterative, inspective and adaptive nature into picture. The team reflects upon the previous timebox with a view to learn some lessons, adjust the behavior or environment in order to improve their experience.

A Retrospective is a special meeting that takes place after each iteration, in which the team members gather to inspect and improve their methods and teamwork.

Since Retrospectives happen during the project, the lessons and improvements that result from them are applicable and relevant to upcoming work on the same project.

Advantages of Retrospectives include the following

  • Improved Productivity : By applying lessons learned and reducing rework, the team can get more productivity work done.
  • Improved Capability : Retrospectives provide a venue for spreading knowledge, so does the number of people who can perform tasks associated with the knowledge.
  • Improved Quality : We can improve quality on our projects by finding the circumstances that led to defects and removing the causes.
  • Improved Capacity : Retrospectives focus on finding process efficiency improvements, which can improve the team capacity to do work.

Why is a Retrospective important?

Retrospectives are important because they gives the team visibility into issues and helps them to take action to correct course and make work environment more efficient and more productive.

  • Retrospective is a 1-3 hour meeting at the end of the Sprint/Iteration.
  • Typically, this meeting is held after the Sprint/Iteration Review Meeting. This helps the team to review what is working and what is not.
  • Two main questions are asked in the sprint retrospective: What went well during the sprint? What could be improved in the next sprint?
  • Team then can take actions going forward
  • All team members reflect on the past sprint
  • Make continuous process improvements
  • Mandatory attendees are Scrum Master and the Teams. Sometimes you may invite the Product owner also.
  • To bring in a neutral viewpoint, you may want to bring in a unbiased attendee also such as a Scrum Master of another team

What is not the objective of Retrospective

  • The Sprint retrospective is a meeting “By the Team” and “For the team”
  • It is not a performance review by senior Management
  • Nor is it a postmortem meeting where the goal is to assign blame
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