Sprint Retrospective

Sprint Retrospective

Vivek Jayaraman
10th Apr, 2020

Scrum stands tall on three main pillars they are Inspect, Adapt, and Transparency. Every event in Scrum is an opportunity to inspect and adapt. Frequently inspecting and adapting helps the Scrum Team to create an empirical process. Scrum also says that too much inspecting and adapting should not get in the way of creating a “done” product increment. Sprint Retrospective is a formal opportunity for the Scrum Team to inspect everything that happened in the Sprint and create a plan to improve and implement during the sprint.


Learning and improvement are continuous. Scrum believes in continuous learning and continuous improvement. There is no ultimate state that one has reached, there is always further and beyond. If a Scrum Team thinks that they have reached a state where they do not have to improve anymore, then their stagnancy starts there. Stagnancy leads to a state of worsening. Teams should always find ways and means to improve themselves, their ways of working, processes, tools, and basically everything.


Who attends the Sprint Retrospective?


The Scrum Team as a whole attends the Sprint Retrospective event. It is not just the Development Team who should improve themselves, it is also the Scrum Master and the Product Owner as well. Everyone in the Scrum Team should inspect the Sprint as a whole and adapt to the improvements.


What is the duration of the Sprint Retrospective?


Sprint Retrospective is three hours time-boxed event for a one-month Sprint. It will be 45 minutes for a one-week Sprint, 1.5 hours for a two weeks Sprint, and 2.15 hours for a three weeks Sprint. It will be shorter for shorter Sprints.


What happens in Sprint Retrospective?


The Scrum Team inspects the last Sprint with regard to people, processes, tools, relationships, impediments, approaches, and so on. They identify potential improvements that help them to get better in the upcoming Sprints. Apart from these, they also identify the list of things that worked well. They then create a plan for implementing the identified and prioritized improvements.


The Scrum Master facilitates the event to make it productive, encourages the Scrum Team members to keep it under the time-box, and also participates in the retrospective as a peer Scrum Team member. The Scrum Master encourages the Scrum Team to improve by finding ways and means to improvise their development process and practices to make it more efficient, effective, and enjoyable. In every Sprint Retrospective, the Scrum Team finds plans to increase product quality by improving the processes or adapting to the definition of “Done”.


The outcome of any Sprint Retrospective is an improvement plan for the upcoming Sprint. The improvement plan will contain a list of action items to be implemented in the next Sprint. The plan will be part of the Sprint Backlog of the next Sprint.

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