Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.netIn today’s post we will continue the Scrum FAQ series. The aim of this paper is to show how the dynamics of this meeting work and what it should accomplish. This is the last Sprint meeting, being held after the review meeting. It represents the end of the sprint and its main objective is to review the progress of the last sprint and create an improvement plan to the next. This meeting is made by the team, for the team, and the Product Owner should be left out, unless he is invited. The team may request the participation of others, but it is usually done only with members of the development team.

According to the Scrum Guide, the purpose of the Sprint Retrospective is to:

Reflect on how the last Sprint went in terms of the people working on it,  relationships formed, processes and tools used;

At this time, the team should reflect on the sprint. Is the whole staff committed? Did someone not get as involved as they should have? Like the Product Owner? Or the ScrumMaster? Were the tools appropriate? Were the meetings appropriate? Is the Scrum process going well? These are all examples of questions that the team has to keep in mind at the time of the meeting. By doing this, the team can talk about the good things and the bad things that happened during the Sprint, and make sure they keep doing the good, and fix the bad for the net Sprint.

Identify and rank the positive and negative aspects of the Sprint;

After the previous inspection is done, the team should express their views about the Sprint and discuss them with other team members. It is important to note that one must identify both the positive and negative points. One way to accomplish this part of the meeting is using colored post-its, and let each member write his observations on them, using one color for positive and negative for another.

Create a plan to implement improvements in the way that the Scrum Team does its job;

The important thing in this meeting is not only to clarify the positive and negative aspects of the sprints. This is a way to make sure mistakes are not repeated, but also a way to make sure the good things that are happening keep happening. So, don’t just tell the team that something is not good, discuss how the team can make it better, and also compliment them on the good things they are doing. Adaptation is essential for Scrum, so we need to change how the team interacts, in order to improve efficiency.

In practice, we observe that it is difficult to get developers to really talk about everything that isn’t working out, especially to the Product Owner and ScrumMaster. In this case, it is important that the ScrumMaster creates a relaxed and comfortable environment, giving space for the team to give constructive criticism on all points you deem relevant, after all, everyone on the team is committed to making the process work.

To learn more about the retrospective meeting, I recommend watching the Sprint Retrospective video on our YouTube channel Scrum University.