Sprint Retrospective Meeting

Last post 06:01 am March 11, 2019
by Akbar Basha Md
12 replies
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09:10 am March 6, 2019

Sprint Retrospective Meeting  

This is one of the key inspection and adaptation events which promotes team's ability to take the heights in subsequent sprints.
Keeping this as an imperative action to be performed at the end of any sprint, I just got a scenario to make out.

Lets say, a project got kicked off adopting Scrum.
Development team delivered successful increments at end of each sprint. Project was going smoothly and suddenly due to some reasons, product owner decided NOT to continue this project and asked to stop it completely.

In this case, do we need to have Sprint retrospective meeting?

As per my understanding - Sprint comprises of Daily Scrum, Sprint Planning, Sprint review and Retrospection; Irrespective of having any subsequent sprints, sprint retrospection for a particular sprint, should take place.

Per book, "Software In 30 Days, by Ken Schwaber & Jeff Sutherland" - " If you are going to proceed with another Sprint, building more increments of software, a Sprint Retrospective is held."

Please share your thoughts, and help me understand this scenario aligning with Scrum guide :)

Thanks!!

 

 

 

10:07 am March 6, 2019

Interesting situation. Did the PO explain why the project was cancelled? These kind of things can be adressed during the retro. What can we do better in a similar situation? What did we learn? What's going on outside of our circle of influence?

12:03 pm March 6, 2019

Project was going smoothly and suddenly due to some reasons, product owner decided NOT to continue this project and asked to stop it completely.

In Scrum, each Sprint can be thought of as a project. Isn’t the scenario you describe essentially one of Sprint cancellation? If not, why not, and what makes it different?

03:41 pm March 6, 2019

I'd encourage the team to have the last retrospective.  The purpose of the retrospective is for the team to inspect how they worked together as a team in order to improve that working relationship.  Even if the project has been cancelled I would expect that the team can still come up with insights that can benefit themselves. If the team is being dissolved and each member will go their separate ways they may even identify practices that they would all like to take out to other teams in order to virally spread the benefits of Scrum and Agile practices. 

10:30 pm March 6, 2019

What do you infer from the wording of the Scrum Guide?

„The Sprint Retrospective is an opportunity for the Scrum Team to inspect itself and create a plan for improvements to be enacted during the next Sprint.“

and

„The remaining events may end whenever the purpose of the event is achieved...“

 

How would you interpret these?

In your scenario, what might the Scrum Team gain (lose) if they do (not) have a Sprint Retrospective at the end of the last Sprint? Is the purpose achieved before the event is started?

11:31 am March 7, 2019

@Sander Dur, Thank you. 

Yes, I do feel retrospection should help team to take the learnings and apply in similar situations, if occurs in future.

11:33 am March 7, 2019

@Daniel Wilhite, I'm in line with your suggestion. Thanks :)

11:43 am March 7, 2019

In Scrum, each Sprint can be thought of as a project. Isn’t the scenario you describe essentially one of Sprint cancellation? If not, why not, and what makes it different?

@ Ian, Per my understanding, in case of 'Cancellation' of a sprint, we still can have subsequent sprints to follow, but current sprint only got cancelled (may be due to sprint goal became obsolete or other unavoidable reason which led to cancel the sprint); Where as I quoted as 'Stopped' in the my scenario, I mean that, there would be no further sprints.

12:04 pm March 7, 2019

How would you interpret these?

In your scenario, what might the Scrum Team gain (lose) if they do (not) have a Sprint Retrospective at the end of the last Sprint? Is the purpose achieved before the event is started?

@Johannes, I totally agree with the statements captured from Scrum Guide, but does this mean, when all sprints are over, in case of any product development, the last sprint's retrospection should not takes place as the purpose is achieved?

I would like to take help of the words put by @Daniel and @Sander, for reference.

Please advise. 

12:11 pm March 7, 2019

Per my understanding, in case of 'Cancellation' of a sprint, we still can have subsequent sprints to follow, but current sprint only got cancelled (may be due to sprint goal became obsolete or other unavoidable reason which led to cancel the sprint); Where as I quoted as 'Stopped' in the my scenario, I mean that, there would be no further sprints.

In the situation you describe, the decision of whether to continue would not be wholly based on the evidence obtained from the current Sprint. Some other consideration would play a part, and would inform people whether or not further Sprints are justified.

What would that tell you about the quality of empirical process control being exhibited, and the ability of a Scrum Team to inspect and adapt based on the latest evidence?

I’d suggest that the maximum extent of any cancellation, within a given Sprint, is of the current Sprint. It may be reasonable, therefore, to conduct a Sprint Retrospective. If no further Sprints are viable, then that would manifest as an inability to start or to complete Sprint Planning.

03:14 pm March 8, 2019

I wanted to encourage you to look beyond the wording (what) of the Scrum Guide and think about its meaning (why). As you have pointed out, the Sprint Retrospective is an important inspect and adapt event. In your scenario, the Scrum Guide (based on its wording which is in line with the book you have cited) might not mandate a Sprint Retrospective; however, thinking about its meaning, if your Scrum Team feels there is something important to learn, what would stop you from having the Sprint Retrospective?

05:59 am March 11, 2019

@Ian, Thanks for the clarification and suggestion.

06:01 am March 11, 2019

 if your Scrum Team feels there is something important to learn, what would stop you from having the Sprint Retrospective?

@Johannes, Perfect, I understood.

Thank you.