The Five Point Sprint Retrospective Meeting Agenda Is Right Here

Ruth Hadari
Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert
Posted on
Dec 13, 2021
Updated on
Mar 26, 2023
Table of Content

We've already written a number of extensive posts on how to run retrospectives, but how does your team actually handle them? 

The Retrospective Meeting Agenda is just one of the many factors you need to take into account when running your sprint retro. 

So, how should you actually be setting your Retrospective Meeting Agenda? Here’s all of the tips and tricks we swear by, ready and waiting for you! 

What Is a Retrospective Meeting Agenda?

A Retrospective Meeting Agenda is exactly like it says on the tin: it's a sprint retro agenda, helping your retro to get off and continue down the best path possible. It will also help to make sure that your team discusses and resolves everything they need to in order to have the best upcoming sprint, ever! 

What Is the Best Sprint Retrospective Agenda Structure?

While there’s no “one-size-fits-all” retrospective agenda, your agenda will massively depend on the type of sprint you run, as well as the sprint retro format you choose to implement (and we have a lot of step by step guides to running virtually every sprint retro format under the sun). 

The 5-point sprint retrospective agenda included below is a guideline for you to play with. Of course you can follow it to the letter, but you can also be flexible and transform the agenda to best fit your team! 

Check out the Retrospective Meeting Agenda below, think about the style and scrum values of your team, and use it all as a basis for your upcoming retrospective exercise!

Retrospective Agenda Step 1: Set the Stage (5 mins)

Just like anything in life, you'll get better results if you prepare your team properly. 

Start by greeting your team, and offering some kind words. People are individuals, after all, and they’ll enjoy feeling acknowledged and recognized. 

You can then continue by summarizing the context of the last sprint. Perhaps your team can discuss areas in which the sprint achieved what it was meant to, and other areas it didn't quite meet the goals it was designed to do. 

Remember to express this positively, and without casting blame. Set the parameters for the discussion - in terms of goals, desired outcomes and so forth - and you're ready to roll on with your sprint retrospective agenda. 

Retrospective Agenda Step 2: Data Gathering (10 mins)

This piece of the retrospective exercise is where you gather data for a discussion of the retrospective agenda. 

Your team needs to provide feedback, ideas and observations for the following questions (shared to a whiteboard, or a collaborative online Retrospective platform like GoRetro): 

  • What’s going well? 
  • What’s not going well? 
  • What have we learned? 
  • What didn't go quite as planned? 

Hold back on immediately solving any issues that come up (that comes later in the sprint retrospective agenda), as well as avoid leading into any retrospective exercises. 

Retrospective Agenda Step 3: Brainstorming (5 mins)

Here’s where the real retrospective exercises come into play! 

Once all the data has been gathered, your team needs to brainstorm solutions as to why things might be happening the way they are. Questions such as - 

  • Why is W going well? 
  • Why is X not going well? 
  • What did we learn from Y? 
  • Why did Z not happen as planned? 

...can do wonders for your retrospective meeting. The importance of steps two and three of the Retrospective Meeting Agenda are that they allow each team member to think very deeply and recognize what the issues are before attempting to find any new solutions.

Retrospective Agenda Step 4: Solutions (5 mins)

Your ideas board will be nice and full by now, so it’s time to solve the issues raised during the sprint retrospective meeting. 

At this point in your retrospective agenda, the team should be feeling safe and collaborative with one another. It's the right time to put the issues raised (and their solutions) to a vote. 

Get the team to vote on the options to discuss, anonymously, and give everyone three votes. See which solutions remain the most popular, and then it's time to open things up! 

Retrospective Agenda Step 5: Action Items

No retrospective meeting is complete without setting tangible action items, conclusions and summaries. 

Set up some SMART goals, conclude the sprint retrospective meeting and make sure everyone is clear on how, what and when they need to do something. 

The Bottom Line: Setting Your Sprint Retrospective Agenda

This 5-step Retrospective Meeting Agenda will help your next retro go off with  bang. 

But why stop there? Take your sprint retros up yet another notch with GoRetro. This forever-free AI tool is loved by literally millions of international companies (Netflix, Lyft and GoDaddy rave about it!). Your next sprint retrospective meeting could be seamless, simple, fun, colorful– and not to mention, more productive than ever before! 

Get started free, right here, right now. 

About the author

Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert

Highly experienced in leading multi-organizational teams, groups, in-shore as well as off-shore. The go-to person who is able to simplify the complex. An agile advocate, experienced in all common methodologies. Responsible for the entire software development lifecycle process from development, QA, DevOps, Automation to delivery including overall planning, direction, coordination, execution, implementation, control and completion. Drives execution, and communicates on status, risks, metrics, risk-mitigation and processes across R&D.

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