No matter how great your team is, there is always scope to improve and get better. The retrospective is way to accomplish this periodically. The main focus is to look at what is working and what is not? Further what are the action items we have based on our learning. The core focus of retrospective is continuous improvement which is one of the core philosophy of agile.
The primary agenda of this meeting where every team member is expected to bring their points are
- What worked well?
- What did not work well?
- Action items to improve the process (Mainly action items are result of what did not work well)
How to do it
- Set the stage. Invite entire team for a meeting (Scrum Master, Product Owner, Team and Customer if possible)
- Give 10 minutes to everyone to enter their points towards 3 agenda items stated above. The recommendation is to use a tool (For instance noteapp) and send this to whole team in advance to enter their points. This would save time for team in meeting and moreover give enough time to team members to think and state their points.
- Start with talking about previous retrospectives action items. Close the items which are accomplished.
- Talk about what worked well, appreciate people and motivate team to continue utilizing the best practices.
- Further Discuss what did not work well and come with action items
- Assign owners for every action item.
- Close the retrospective while action items to go to action item register.
- Typically it should happen after every sprint and should last between 30 to 60 minutes.
- The whole team should participate.
- This can be considered as “lesson learned” meeting. The notes can go to organization process assets (Remember “PAL” or “Process Asset Library”).
- The owners must be assigned to action items. The next retrospective should start with open items of previous retrospective meetings. I have seen, individual teams have excellent ideas while post retrospective nobody really thinks about it.
- One of the recommendation is to have retrospective of retrospectives to make it better.
- Don’t point fingers instead work as team and support each other.
- Do not forget to appreciate your team members.