What is a Sprint Retrospective?

Learn About the Sprint Retrospective Event

As described in the Scrum Guide, the Sprint Retrospective is an opportunity for the Scrum Team to inspect itself and create a plan for improvements to be enacted during the next Sprint.

Typical Sprint RetrospectiveThe Sprint Retrospective occurs after the Sprint Review and prior to the next Sprint Planning. This is at most a three-hour meeting for one-month Sprints. For shorter Sprints, the event is usually shorter. The Scrum Master ensures that the event takes place and that attendants understand its purpose. This is the opportunity for the Scrum Team to improve and all member should be in attendance.

During the Sprint Retrospective, the team discusses:

  • What went well in the Sprint
  • What could be improved
  • What will we commit to improve in the next Sprint

The Scrum Master encourages the Scrum Team to improve its development process and practices to make it more effective and enjoyable for the next Sprint. During each Sprint Retrospective, the Scrum Team plans ways to increase product quality by improving work processes or adapting the definition of “Done” if appropriate and not in conflict with product or organizational standards.

By the end of the Sprint Retrospective, the Scrum Team should have identified improvements that it will implement in the next Sprint. Implementing these improvements in the next Sprint is the adaptation to the inspection of the Scrum Team itself. Although improvements may be implemented at any time, the Sprint Retrospective provides a formal opportunity to focus on inspection and adaptation.

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Why you need a retrospective video

As part of the Scrum Tapas video series, Professional Scrum Trainer Andrzej Zińczuk discusses his experience working with a Scrum Team that was questioning their need to conduct Sprint Retrospectives each Sprint.  He used a football analogy to help them understand the importance of a Sprint Retrospective and what it requires for teams to be professional.

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