What is a Sprint Retrospective?

Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert
Posted on
Apr 30, 2020
Updated on
Dec 25, 2021
Table of Content

Are you and your scrum dev team looking for a more effective way to work, collaborate, and get better? Perhaps you are looking to perfect your techniques or just to take some time to self-inspect and see what is working and what isn’t. If that is the case, then a Sprint Retrospective may be exactly what your agile development team is looking for. Let’s look at what it is and how it can benefit you and your team, helping you improve from sprint to sprint. 

What is a Sprint Retrospective?

The Retrospective solution, also known as retro, is a chance for your scrum team to take a look at itself and its operations and create a plan of action to be put into place during the next Sprint. 

The retro step occurs in between the Sprint Review and Agile Sprint planning, so your team is able to fully understand their progress and see what needs to be changed or fixed in order to continue progressing effectively, efficiently, and overall build software better as a team.

What Happens During the Sprint Retrospective Process?

During this process, the scrum team will sit down and have an internal look into their proceedings and techniques. They will discuss things like: 

  • What went well during the Sprint
  • What, if anything, could be improved 
  • What will be committed to attend, change, focus on for the next Sprint

During each of these Sprint Retrospective meetings, the team decides what has gone well and what needs to be improved in order to increase productivity and quality of the product they are producing. 

What is the Difference Between a Sprint Review and a Sprint Retrospective?

The main difference between these two meetings is that during the Sprint Review, the team looks at what they are building and during the Sprint Retrospective meeting, the team discusses how they are building the product. A Sprint Review is much less formal than a Sprint Retrospective. There are usually no presentations and the team usually only has a couple of hours to prepare.

On the other hand, a Sprint Retrospective meeting is much more of a collaborative reflection, brainstorm, and somewhat problem solving and can also be a fun time with your team. 

How can a Sprint Retrospective Meeting Benefit my Team?

The biggest benefit of a Sprint Retrospective meeting is that the team has an opportunity to sit down at a scheduled time and reflect on past events, choices, procedures, and behaviors that have occurred throughout the past Sprint. They can look at how these things have affected their growth and productivity. This gives the scrum team the opportunity to change things that need to be changed or reinforce things that are working well.

It also gives the opportunity for successes and positive actions to be reinforced and celebrated. This keeps morale up and sets the bar for the next Sprint. 

Sprint Retrospectives give teams the opportunity to celebrate their successes and work on a plan to better themselves for the future. It is very beneficial to all parties involved, individually, as well as the scrum team as a whole.

If your scrum team is looking for a way to continue to grow together and understand exactly how productive your techniques really are, then a Sprint Retrospective might be exactly what you are looking for.

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