Project Management

Holding a Retrospective During Crisis: Lessons From Ukraine

Anna is a Senior QA Engineer/Scrum Master in Ukraine.

Holding a retrospective during a crisis is a completely different process than it is during less stressful times—and as a project manager, you should be aware of the appropriate structure and methods to use when this happens.

This article shares a practical example of holding a retrospective during the war in my country of Ukraine, and I will share theoretical knowledge as well as personal experiences with my team. This topic is crucial—and this article illustrates my team’s flexibility and problem-solving approach under horrible circumstances.

Retrospectives: Where and Why?
Every project manager (Scrum Master, facilitator, etc.) must choose a retrospective format in line with the needs of the team. Regardless of the style, the goal is roughly the same: to set up work, help the team identify project bottlenecks, and define steps to achieve the result.

A retrospective is a team session in the Scrum framework and is held after the completion of another work phase to analyze and improve work processes and team interaction. After each subsequent iteration, the efficiency of the team should increase.

As per Agile Manifesto principles, the team must systematically analyze possible ways to enhance efficiency and adjust their work style accordingly.

Teams work within a defined timeframe called sprints (some projects have monthly sprints; we have two-…

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