Project Management

Fresh Retrospectives

Wayne Grant

Wayne is a software developer, ScrumMaster and Agile Coach.

Retrospectives are a catalyst for continuous team improvement, providing a feedback loop to examine methods, teamwork and results. But holding monotonous retrospectives isn’t much better than holding none at all. Here are three techniques you can interchange for maximum effect.

When interviewing prospective Scrum Masters, I ask a number of questions about their retrospectives. First, do they hold retrospectives with their team after each sprint? Second, how do they run their retrospectives? Finally, I ask if they vary how they run their retrospectives. The answers to these questions are one gauge I use to measure the candidate Scrum Master’s level of experience. I focus so much attention on retrospectives because how they are run is crucial if a Scrum team is to function efficiently.

Holding retrospectives is vital to Scrum teams who are looking to continuously improve — and a Scrum team that is not looking to continuously improve isn’t worthy of being called a Scrum team. Holding retrospectives after every sprint is a must if a team is to maintain its pace of improvement. Having a technique for running retrospectives is important for imposing a structure on the team’s discussion. However, using varied techniques is essential to keep the exercise interesting for the team and to prevent great ideas for improvements from drying up. Retrospectives …

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