sprint retrospective duration (scrum guide vs SW in 30 days)

Last post 07:19 pm April 20, 2021
by Scott Anthony Keatinge
6 replies
07:54 am July 25, 2014


hope someone could clarify the correct maximum duration for a sprint retrospective!

from scrum guide 2013: "this is a three-hour time-boxed meeting for one month sprint. for shorter sprints, the event is usually shorter p12, 1st paragraph
from Software in 30 days:"This meeting should never exceed four hours" p60 - "conduct the sprint retrospectives"
sub chapter

should someone consider as the scrum guide and scrum open relative answers as correct?


06:26 am July 27, 2014

Hi Nikos,

As the exam is set by scrum.org the question will be based on scrum guide contents.
If you look at Appendix 1 page 131 of the same book Software in 30 days.
Time is defined the same as scrum guide, so its a kind of contradiction of terms.
Understand your point you are putting forward RE timeboxes as it could be confusing.
As a SM you would be keeping the events to timeboxes, as far as this is concerned
I would go with the timebox that the scrum guide recommends and also page 131 of that book.
Could also be worth dropping Ken or Jeff a mail in the thinking behind the four hour time listed.
Share the result with the wider community in this post.


10:02 am July 27, 2014

thnx for your feedback Michael!
i will contact Ken for his comments as well!

03:26 pm July 27, 2014

Mehdi spotted this back in January. At the time, I suggested it was a typo and no-one has contradicted me on that. See:


Taken very literally of course, the book is also right. The claim that a Sprint Retrospective should never exceed 4 hours is a valid one.

10:22 am November 2, 2014

Hi Nick,
Normally you should have an 1 hour Retro, for a one week sprint, ergo 2 hr for 2 weeks etc.

09:44 am April 20, 2021

In my opinion the 4hours is a guideline, it is the maximum time that should not be exceeded for this ceremony. When it comes to how long exactly is needed per sprint (2 or 4weeks) this is a team discussion facilitated by the SM because today we can use tools that help gather input prior to the meeting for a more focused meeting which translates to saving time. 

07:19 pm April 20, 2021

Just remember that if you are taking any this sites exams, the correct answer will always be 3 hours or less for a one month sprint, for exams based upon the 2020 guide.