What is Agile Sprint Retrospective ?

Looking back into the past is a great way to learn the lessons and make further adjustments so that we can have a smoother future. In Agile methodology , after the completion of every iteration , the team has the opportunity to look back on the iteration and take the learning’s from that iteration into the next iteration.This planned opportunity is called ” Sprint Retrospective” or “Iteration Retrospective“. It is generally conducted at the end of the sprint. The output of the sprint retrospective will help in planning for a  next smoother iteration.This method enables the agile team to continuously improve as the project progresses


Typically a retrospective meeting starts by checking the status of the actions from the previous retrospective to see if they are finished, and to take action if they are not finished and still needed. The actions coming out of a retrospective are communicated and performed in the next iteration.

To ensure that actions from a retrospective are done they can for instance be added to the product backlog as user stories, brought into the planning game and put on the planning board so that they remain visible to the team.

How did we plan ?(Linders,2013,para 3)

During the Iteration planning , we planned for a meeting for about 45 minutes with the whole team at the end of that iteration.The scrum master has to arrange and plan for this meeting and invite the entire team including the Product Owner, Developers, Testers, User Interface Engineers and anyone directly involved.All team members attend the retrospective meeting where they “inspect” how the iteration has gone and decide what to improve and how they want to “adapt” their way of working and behavior.

The following are the four Key Questions that a scrum master asks in a retrospective

  1. What did we do well, that if we don’t discuss we might forget?
  2. What did we learn?
  3. What should we do differently next time?
  4. What still puzzles us?

The Scrum master notes it on a white board as below:


Additional topics can be open for discussion like(Layton ,2010,para 6)

  • Results: Compare the amount of work planned with what the development team actually completed. Review the sprint burn down chart and what it tells the development team about how they’re working.

  • People: Discuss team composition and alignment.

  • Relationships: Talk about communication, collaboration, and working in pairs.

  • Processes: Go over getting support, development, and code review processes.

  • Tools: How are the different tools working for the scrum team? Think about the artifacts, electronic tools, communication tools, and technical tools.

  • Productivity: How can the team improve productivity and get the most work done within the next sprint?

5 step plan for successful retrospectives : ( Burson,2013, para 8)

Most of the industry is in agreement and has adopted this strategy. The 5 steps are:

1. Set the Stage

2. Gather Data

3. Generate Insights

4. Decide What to Do

5. Close the Retrospective

Retrospectives are a great way for teams to improve their way of working, to become more agile and lean. Getting actions out of a retrospective that are doable, and getting them done helps teams to learn and improve continuously.

What i learnt from the Sprint Retrospective of our project 

Retrospection is always a great way to learn from your mistakes and not to repeat them again. We have always faced so many problems when it comes to communicating with the client , getting details from them and putting all of it into actions. Our client was not so responsive and we had to struggle in the beginning to gather the requirements. Over the sprints , we have learnt from our mistakes and started to work on a prototype until we waited to communicate with the client. Instead of waiting for them we discovered a new way by working on the prototype and once we got a chance to communicate with client ,we gathered all the requirements and put our prototype into the real implementation and succeeded in doing our work in time.

References :

  1. Linders.B.(203,March 11).Which questions do you ask in retrospectives?. Bin Linders Sharing my experience.Retrieved from http://www.benlinders.com/2013/which-questions-do-you-ask-in-retrospectives/
  2. Layton.C.M.Agile management and sprint retrospective.For Dummies – Making everything easier . Retrieved from http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/agile-management-and-the-sprint-retrospective.html
  3. Burson.K.(2013,January 17).Effective retrospectives. CPrime. Retrieved from https://www.cprime.com/2013/01/effective-retrospectives/

2 thoughts on “What is Agile Sprint Retrospective ?

  1. I really like how you styled your blog. Adding bullet points and specific main headers make it easier to read. The flow of your blog was very legible and was easy to understand the concept. The only problem I see in your blog is when you added the image next to the words: “The Scrum master notes it on a white board as below: “. If you preview it, you’ll see that the image is right next to it, not below. Overall, your content is very straight forward and engaging.


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