June 11, 2021

Back to the foundations of the Scrum framework - The Sprint Retrospective and Transparency

Scrum is founded on empirical process control, and transparency is one of the three pillars.

During each of the Scrum Events, and throughout the Sprint itself, the Scrum Team and the stakeholders need transparency so there is a common understanding.

Transparency as such is way more than bringing “visibility”. It is about reaching ”a common understanding”.

PS. Remember from earlier posts: I will repeat the above few lines in the coming blog posts: learning = repeating. ;-)


Today, we check the Sprint Retrospective. 

Common understanding about what? 

About how the Sprint went. About which actionable improvements the Scrum Team will take on in the next Sprint. What do we feel worked well? What do we want to improve? What actions will we take for this?

While supporting teams I often see in the beginning that the team members stay at the surface of what happened, not wanting to hurt the feelings of the colleagues. Yet it is important to raise the understanding of what all team members have experienced and how to move forward together. The Scrum Values do help here - more on how these support transparency later.

I have witnessed teams discussing for hours a minor detail in a procurement process step that was not in their hands to make a change - how much it delayed them. While there was a major conflict between three team members - a conflict obstructing collaboration.
Make this understood, transparent, so the entire team understands and can act together. 

Common understanding amongst who? 

Amongst the entire Scrum Team: the Product Owner, the Developers, and the Scrum Master. 


Summary: At the end of your Sprint Retrospective, does your Scrum Team have a common understanding about what they will improve and what actions they will take?


Prompt: What does Transparency mean to you and your team? And how do you and your team use the Sprint Retrospective to raise Transparency?


I hope you will find value in these short articles and if you are looking for more clarifications, feel free to take contact.

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The Sprint Retrospective does bring Transparency