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About retrospectives...(reading time 2 mins)

Last post 12:50 pm April 30, 2019 by Michael Bailoni
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12:50 pm April 30, 2019

Hi all,

we all know what the sense of retrospectives are. There is a ton of literature available.

Nevertheless, I want to share my knowledge and experiences with you - main goal is not to do good retrospective, but to do really great retrospectives - even better than they are now - with you guys.

First point: INSPECT and ADAPT --> we all agree to that point, right?

What really helps is to share knowledge and experiences!

Some hints, experiences…


*) Take notes / gather data during the sprint (what do you like to discuss with your team?) --> in the meeting you have less time to think about, and maybe important things will stay hidden.

*) Give constructive, honest Feedback to each other (what do you expect from each other / from the product owner / from the Scrum Master...).

*) Try new things for the next sprint and see / evaluate whether there was a benefit gain or not (e.g. TDD...).

*) Think about process, people, communication, tools (maybe you had good experiences in former companies with other tools). Share it with your team! Learn from each other!

*) Work on the self-organization (in the past, I saw a lot of Scrum-Masters (including me) taking notes about actions / responsibilities and put it on the white-board) -->if you find yourself doing it like that, try to change it for the next retro. A member of the dev-team should take over.

*) Try to keep the permanent agreements at all time. Inspect and adapt them as well - maybe things changed over time.

*) It’s a team-meeting --> you do it for yourself (to grow as a team, to find and eliminate weak processes), you don’t do it for your scrum-master 😊, at least not only, because he is part of the team.

*) Take your time in the meeting, focus on the meeting and eliminate distractions (like mobiles, laptops,….). --> I often saw distracted team-members, this will "kill" your retrospectives.

*) If weather is nice try to organize an outdoor-meeting. --> I have great experiences with that, nature can help to be more creative and it will probably open your minds). --> it can help people to calm down and concentrate / focus on one thing!

*) See the meeting as a chance not as a burden. --> in the past I saw a lot of teams getting bored doing retros, because there was no real output, or the agreements and actions were not adhered by the team.

*) Have fun during retros, life is serious enough, right?

*) Work together on the quality of your retrospectives. Its not only the Scrum-Masters task.

*) Change the approach of your retrospectives to make them more exciting.

*) Invite the Product Owners to the meeting. (especially for new teams it's a must). Talk about how to communicate, how to build the backlog, the product backlog items,...). I saw a lot of teams "failing" because the product owners were not part of the meeting. They are part of the scrum-team so its necessary that they join the meeting and help improving at any front.


Thanks for reading,

Cheers, Michael