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is there an order between sprint review and sprint retrospective?

Last post 02:29 pm June 19, 2023 by Nicholas Gabrichidze
8 replies
05:47 pm December 27, 2020

Hi there, 

Just have a quick question, as we know that sprint review happens at the end of the sprint, so how about sprint retrospective? Is there a specific or pre-define order between sprint review and sprint retrospective, eg. sprint review must happen before sprint retrospective?

The reason why I ask is that, sprint review happens at the end of the sprint, so I understand it as the last event of the sprint, sprint contains four official events, and scrum guide introduces sprint retrospective after it introduces sprint review. If sprint review does happen before sprint retrospective, then that means sprint retrospective happens out of the scope or length of one sprint. 

Does it make sense?

Thanks a lot!

07:40 pm December 27, 2020

Is there a specific or pre-define order between sprint review and sprint retrospective

The Scrum Guide says "The Sprint Review is the second to last event of the Sprint", and "The Sprint Retrospective concludes the Sprint."

If sprint review does happen before sprint retrospective, then that means sprint retrospective happens out of the scope or length of one sprint. 

The Sprint is a container for all other events. In order to maximize transparency over the work that has been Done and which remains to be Done, there are no gaps between Sprints.

08:31 pm December 27, 2020

Thanks for the explanation Ian!

12:41 am December 28, 2020

I have occasionally been asked by team members whether it would be better to schedule the Sprint Retrospective prior to the Sprint Review.

I am usually able to point to a recent example when something from the Sprint Review has been raised at the subsequent Sprint Retrospective, and this helps the Scrum Team understand why events take place in that order.

10:23 am June 19, 2023

I reopen the subject, since I very likely will have to justify to a part of the team, the reason why the Sprint Review is supposed to happen before the Sprint Retro.

Currently, our Sprint Review is very poor, consisting in only a recorded "demo", but I intend to make this change, and get to have stakeholders attending, feedback from them, discussions around the product, etc. (only God knows when I manage to have this implemented...)

The Review being such, I have no examples of things that might have happend during it, that would have been raised at the subsequent Retro.

Thus, please, @Simon Mayer, and others, could you give examples of such things, that might be theoretical examples for me ?

Thanks! :) 

11:21 am June 19, 2023

One example might be defects which are made transparent in the Sprint Review. This undone work is added to the Product Backlog.

In the ensuing Sprint Retrospective, the team would have a formal opportunity to improve the Definition of Done and thereby ensure that this quality problem does not arise again.

01:20 pm June 19, 2023

The Sprint Review itself might need to be inspected. Thus the Sprint Retrospective cannot be ahead of it.

02:03 pm June 19, 2023

Building on @Jacek's response for a real example for your situation.

Bring up the format of the Review at a Retrospective. Help the team realize the ineffective nature of the Review and ask them for experiments they would be willing to try.  The next Sprint, the Retrospective would be used to review the experiments that were tried to determine further actions that are needed.

02:29 pm June 19, 2023

I am amazed how many Scrum teams in the world don't see that retrospective has a fundamental significance for whole Scrum project. T

his is actual event then the feedback loop closes up and gives way for a next step.  Basically the most important aspects of both inspection and adaptation happen at retrospective.

Definition of Done for next Sprint is also crafted at retrospective

To end with, it is good to remember that the next sprint starts immediately, next second, after conclusion of the retrospective.

Having said that, it's always advisable not to have retrospectives at the last day of the work week, like Fridays, and on the end of work day, allowing natural time barrier between end of retrospective and Sprint planning for next sprint.

It is always good idea to suggest planning the events in such fashion, that Sprint planning would actually start immediately after retrospective is finished, at the same room or same videoconference.


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