What Scrum Artifact is Inspected & Adapted at the Sprint Retrospective?

Last post 01:23 am June 14, 2021
by Chris Belknap
7 replies
Author
Messages
03:12 am June 8, 2021

I came across this sentence in the new Scrum Guide "Each event in Scrum is a formal opportunity to inspect and adapt Scrum artifacts." and I was wondering if anyone could help me understand which artifact is inspected and adapted during the Sprint Retrospective? and why?

04:58 am June 8, 2021

The Sprint Retrospective is a formal opportunity to improve the Definition of Done, which describes the things the team do to build quality in. The Definition of Done is a commitment associated with the Increment.

It should also be borne in mind that any change to the DoD may require the re-estimation of work on the Product Backlog.

05:16 am June 8, 2021

It should also be borne in mind that any change to the DoD may require the re-estimation of work on the Product Backlog

@Ian Mitchell, So, what I am understanding here is that the inspect and adapt is rather indirect through the DoD, which is not really an artifact. During the Sprint Retrospective do Scrum Teams normally adapt their Product Backlog? That's not really the purpose, is it? Curious.

05:25 am June 8, 2021

I would say we inspect the sprint and DoD during the retrospective.

05:30 am June 8, 2021

As per the scrum guide: 

Sprint Retrospective

The purpose of the Sprint Retrospective is to plan ways to increase quality and effectiveness.
The Scrum Team inspects how the last Sprint went with regards to individuals, interactions, processes, tools, and their Definition of Done. Inspected elements often vary with the domain of work. Assumptions that led them astray are identified and their origins explored. The Scrum Team discusses what went well during the Sprint, what problems it encountered, and how those problems were (or were not) solved.

The Scrum Team identifies the most helpful changes to improve its effectiveness. The most impactful improvements are addressed as soon as possible. They may even be added to the Sprint Backlog for the next Sprint.

 

Scrum Artifacts

Scrum’s artifacts represent work or value. They are designed to maximize transparency of key information. Thus, everyone inspecting them has the same basis for adaptation.

Each artifact contains a commitment to ensure it provides information that enhances transparency and focus against which progress can be measured:
● For the Product Backlog it is the Product Goal.
● For the Sprint Backlog it is the Sprint Goal.
● For the Increment it is the Definition of Done.

These commitments exist to reinforce empiricism and the Scrum values for the Scrum Team and their stakeholders.

06:14 pm June 8, 2021

Inspecting the DoD is not indirect increment inspection. Commitment is part of artifact now.

10:59 pm June 13, 2021

Inspecting the DoD is not indirect increment inspection. Commitment is part of artifact now.

@Tomasz Głowacki, DoD is not an artifact. My question was what artifact is inspected and adapted during the Sprint Retrospective.

01:23 am June 14, 2021

"Each event in Scrum is a formal opportunity to inspect and adapt Scrum artifacts." and I was wondering if anyone could help me understand which artifact is inspected and adapted during the Sprint Retrospective? and why?

Hi Steve - Your question made me pause and think for a minute. I could think of examples where all three artifacts might get inspected and adapted.

When discussing how work gets done, perhaps the tool the Developers are using to make the Sprint Backlog transparent isn't very effective, or perhaps flow could improve, and the Developers will think of ways to adapt (i.e. find a new tool, improve the process, adapt the workflow, add WIP limits, etc).

The Retrospective is a good opportunity for the Scrum Team to look at and inspect the state of the Increment. How is the quality of our Increment? Have we had some defects? Are we building up Tech Debt? Perhaps we need to adapt the Definition of Done if the quality is lacking or Tech Debt is growing? Which might lead to adapting estimates on the Product Backlog if the DoD changes? Maybe Tech Debt PBIs will get added to the Product Backlog?

Maybe there have been some challenges with the transparency of the Product Backlog over the past Sprint, due to a lack of understanding between the Developers and Product Owner, which may lead to adaptation so everyone is singing from the same songbook.