The Sprint Retrospective
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Module 4  The Scrum Events  

This module introduces the five different events that happen in Scrum: Sprint Planning, the Daily Scrum, The Sprint, the Sprint Review and the Sprint Retrospective. This module is made up of Videos, followed by a quiz to help support your understanding.   

  • Sprint Planning
  • The Daily Scrum  
  • The Sprint  
  • Sprint Review  
  • Sprint Retrospective  

- After any series of work, it's always useful to reflect on what went right and what didn't go quite so well. Reflection exercises are important in the learning process and, to improve, an individual or group has to learn from its experiences. That's where the Sprint Retrospective comes in. The Sprint Retrospective, often called a retro, is an event that gives the Scrum Team the opportunity to examine how it performed in the previous Sprint. The Scrum Team can then create an improvement plan for the upcoming Sprint, in order to create the most value from the Sprint. The retro is held right after the sprint review, and right before the sprint planning session of the next sprint. For a month long sprint, the time-box for retro is three hours. This is adjusted in relation to the length of the sprint. So, a two week sprint would have a one-and-a-half hour time-box for the retro. The Scrum master makes sure that everyone in the Scrum Team is present and everyone knows its purpose. Okay, so what exactly happens in a retro? The Scrum Team will normally reflect on what happened in the last sprint. There are a few questions that can be answered to help prompt the retro. Did everything in the team work as it was supposed to? Did all of the workflows and processes go according to plan? Did all of the tools that the team used function correctly? And how are the relationships with the team, both the internal Scrum Team and, potentially, the organization at large? The Scrum Team needs to identify and order the things that went well, as well as anything that can be improved too. With the potential improvements noted, the Scrum Team then creates a plan for implementing the improvements to the way it works. The Scrum Team needs to plan ways to increase the quality of the product or by improving the work processes or even changing the definition of done. By the end of the retro, the Scrum Team should've identified improvements they can make that they will implement during the next sprint. Cool. So, what does the Scrum Master do in all of this? The Scrum Master helps facilitate the retro, and keeps the meeting on a positive track. Reflection and looking for improvements can have a tendency towards a negative attitude. The Scrum Master needs to keep the team focused on making improvements and keeping a positive spirit in the retro. The Scrum Master also needs to focus the team on making improvements to processes and practices of the team that are more effective and enjoyable. The retro is the final part of the sprint, and allows everyone in the Scrum Team to express how they feel the work went. It's important in Scrum, and practices the value of transparency and adaptation.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Paul Williams is a Senior Learning Consultant for QA, based in Manchester, UK. He is a member of the Agile, Lean & DevOps Trainer Team.