All the Sprint Retrospective Questions You Should be Asking

Ruth Hadari
Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert
Posted on
Dec 2, 2021
Updated on
Jul 12, 2022
Table of Content

You don't have the time to waste during your sprint retro. When every second counts (and every sprint’s learning outcomes count too, for that matter), you need to know exactly which important questions to ask, and how exactly to ask them.

But how do you ensure that you run a blameless retrospective? Which icebreaker questions will help melt the ice? How do you ensure that your entire team comes out of every retro with an understanding of how to do better next time– and how do you actually execute all of this?

Here’s how– these sprint retrospective questions will keep your retros focused, learning-oriented and, most importantly, will keep your entire team happy and productive!

The Importance Of Sprint Retrospective Questions

Remember, there are 4 key parts to your sprint retrospective, during which your team needs to remain engaged and focused on what has been completed already, but also what could be for the next retro. The four sections are:

  • The icebreaker section, to set the mood and tone of what will follow 
  • Brainstorming and data gathering of the past sprint
  • Review of everything discussed
  • Goal setting for the next sprint. 

After you've opened the sprint (possibly with those icebreaker questions mentioned above) it's time to get down to the real business. 

Questions You May Ask During Brainstorming 

Here are the agile retrospective questions you might want to ask during this phase: 

  • What went well in this sprint? 
  • What didn't go as well as you might have hoped in this sprint? 
  • What have you personally discovered during this sprint? 
  • What were the team’s strengths? 
  • What were the team's weaknesses? 
  • What obstacles did we face, and how did we overcome them? 
  • What would you have changed about this sprint in hindsight? 

Sprint Retro Questions for the Review Phase

The review section’s retro questions are just as, if not more important than the brainstorming and data gathering phase of the sprint review

While the previous phase was more about the past sprint, the review section is more about using these insights for the upcoming sprint: 

  • How can we take our learnings from the past sprint and put these into place in the next sprint? 
  • How can we unify as a team better in the upcoming sprint? 
  • How do we avoid the obstacles of the past sprint, and break them down into more manageable chunks or tasks in the next sprint? 
  • How can you be of use to help the team in the upcoming sprint? 
  • What was the single most important thing you discovered in the last sprint, and how can you put this learning into place in the upcoming sprint? 

Questions You May Ask During Goal Setting

When done correctly, this section of the sprint retrospective can be one of the key learning areas (not to mention, one of the most effective parts!) of the entire sprint retro process. Here are some of the sprint retrospective questions you can use with your team: 

  • How can you sum up what we learned today? 
  • Is all of the information and discussion that we’ve discussed completely clear, and if not, which parts are unclear? 
  • Who can summarize your steps for the next sprint? 
  • Is everyone clear on their action items? 

Optimizing Your Sprint Retrospective Questions

Although the human factor is worth a million automated programs, there’s an even easier way to run your sprints and optimize all your sprint retrospective questions! 

GoRetro is a forever-free collaborative retrospective platform beloved by international companies such as Adobe, Netflix and Lyft, worldwide. 

Use it to harness the power of your AI, and let it do all the heavy-lifting for you. Then, you can go back to what matters the most– getting your sprints, and your dev teams, off to the best start possible! 


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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