Although Agile development involves constant feedback and improvement throughout the project’s life cycle, there is a special time slot allocated to do this. It is called Sprint Retrospective, which is the final thing done in a sprint after the sprint review meeting.

Scrum process

Scrum process (Jeevan, 2013)

It is a meeting where the entire team who was involved in the iteration, including the team lead, the product owner, and the development team participate. “The retrospective is a special, cadence-based forum which allows the teams to not defer immediate improvements, and puts additional discipline and visibility around a coordinated, long-term team improvement effort.” (Iteration Retrospective)

The purpose of sprint retrospective is to discuss three primary questions:

  • What should we keep on doing?
  • What should we stop doing?
  • What should we try in the next Sprint? (An Overview of the Scrum Process)
Sprint Retrospective

(Diagram of Sprint Retrospective)

The sprint retrospective meeting usually lasts no more than an hour. There are many ways to conduct an agile sprint retrospective. The Scrum Master facilitates the meeting. Every one is encouraged to speak up and be an active participant.

There can be several topics that can be included in the discussion. The team can review the sprint burn-down chart and discuss the results. The chart shows progress of the project on a daily basis. The sprint retrospective is a good opportunity to talk about team communication and collaboration.The team can raise any issues that they think will need some improvement in the upcoming sprints. This can include any processes such as development process and code review process, or tools such as electronic tools, artifacts and technical tools.(Layton). During the retrospective, the team can identify possible solutions and brainstorm how to implement the improvements (Simple Retrospective Agenda)

The issues will be generated from the discussion and the facilitator prioritizes them using some technique to work on the next sprint. The meeting will end up with the retrospective summary report as a deliverable. The report can include an overview of the sprint goals and result; challenges faced by the team; items that needs to be improved; items that will be addressed in the next iteration.

“The sprint retrospective meeting is an action-oriented meeting, not a justification meeting” (Layton). The agile sprint retrospective helps to continuously improve the process through ideas and feedback from the team and applying them for the next iteration.  Since each member of the team is involved in the retrospective, it gives encouragement to the team to take responsibility for the sprint. It is one of the best opportunities for finding ways to improve the productivity.

References

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