Scrum Ceremony Best Practices – The Sprint Retrospective

Man pointing at Charts

The next stop in our Scrum ceremony best practices journey is the Sprint retrospective. This is my favorite ceremony of the Sprint and the one that I am constantly trying to improve and refine. As we know, we use the retrospective as a tool to discuss the team’s performance and dissect how we can get better as a team. Sometimes the changes may be minor and sometimes they will be a little bit more drastic. So how do we make sure that we are following the best practices to ensure a great retrospective?

Purpose of the Sprint Retrospective:

  • Review the team’s process for continuous improvement
    • This review includes quantitative and qualitative metrics to use as the information to discuss where the improvements should occur.


Best Practices:

  • Compare actions against working agreement
  • Determine action items and make it visible
    • Track action items by creating stories in Rally that the team will work on during a sprint
    • Post a list in the squad room of action items
    • Pick an item that can be done in the next sprint
  • Consider using a quick “Team Health” Survey to gather feedback
  • Every team member has to contribute something
    • Some team members will be quieter than others, so it is imperative that the Scrum Master understands the different team personalities and includes the quieter members when they are not participating.
  • Have Sprint metrics available to show the team in order for them to understand where problems exist.
  • Constantly be trying out different ways of retrospecting to keep it interesting and fun for the team


Benefits of a great Retrospective:

  • Allows an opportunity to handle internal conflicts
  • Provides time to figure out how to continuously improve
  • Gives team members the opportunity to take responsibility for mistakes
  • Develops an environment of genuine concern and respect for others
  • Allows team members to communicate honestly, openly, freely and continually
  • Gives the team an opportunity to celebrate successes
  • Builds trust between team members

Do you have any tips on how to run a great Retrospective? What are your best practices? I would love to hear them!