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Are the stakeholders invited to the Sprint Retrospective?

Last post 07:23 am September 18, 2023 by Reşat Gürbüzcan
6 replies
11:57 am September 13, 2023

12:39 pm September 13, 2023

The Sprint Retrospective needs to be a safe place for the Scrum Team to talk honestly and openly about what isn't working so well and what needs to be improved and adapted in future Sprints, so it is usually just for the Scrum Team.

Stakeholders are invited to the Sprint Review to collaborate and provide feedback on the latest product Increment, discuss progress towards the Product Goal, and collaborate on what the Scrum Team will work on next.

01:02 pm September 13, 2023

Thanks Chris, for your response. Although, I think the same, I have come across a similar question on different platforms with an answer saying Yes, so it created a confusion. In scrum guide, it does not mention about stakeholders but what if the stakeholders want to say we have some valuable instructions for the team improvement?

02:26 pm September 13, 2023

what if the stakeholders want to say we have some valuable instructions for the team improvement?

If this is an exam question from another platform, beware, as some of the questions and answers I've seen can be incorrect and lead people down the wrong path to understanding.

Without knowing more about the context, I'd fall back to the Scrum Guide for answers. It specifically mentions that the "Scrum Team identifies the most helpful changes to improve its effectiveness", while silent about stakeholders.

A red flag I would have about someone from outside of the Scrum Team telling them how to improve and giving them instructions would be that it goes against the principles of self-managing teams. A Scrum Team could always ask for feedback on team improvement to get an outsider's perspective, but the Scrum Team should initiate it and figure out the solution.

If stakeholders have feedback for product improvements, they can share that in the Sprint Review.


03:27 pm September 13, 2023

I have had stakeholders offer suggestions on how a Scrum Team interacted with them.  An example is that they stakeholder did not feel like they knew what was being worked on and as such did not know when specific functionality would be delivered.  They asked for a way to see the work being done.  This feedback was delivered in a Retrospective but not by the stakeholders.  It was given via the Product Owner who had asked the stakeholders for input on our processes and their satisfaction.

If a stakeholder approaches someone on the team saying that they have some input on the way the team operates, that team member should gather the info and bring it to the next Retrospective on behalf of the stakeholders.  But as @Chris said, the Retrospective should be a safe place for the Scrum team to openly and honestly discuss topics without having to restrict their language because of who is in the room.  Being willing to discuss difficult or sensitive topics requires degrees of trust and respect.  The Retrospective helps to build that trust and respect when the team openly discusses and arrives at decisions.

05:46 pm September 13, 2023

what if the stakeholders want to say we have some valuable instructions for the team improvement?

They're stakeholders in the product. Ask them: how do the opportunities you see improve the value of that? 

07:23 am September 18, 2023

Thanks Chris, Daniel and Ian for your valuable responses. 

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