My favourite Scrum event: Sprint Retrospective

This week, 6th of February Tuesday was World Retrospective Day. I’m quoting from the website:

World Retrospective Day is a volunteer-based, globally coordinated effort to share in the power of retrospectives.

People from different countries around the globe organized and participacted in order to celebrate it.

That’s why I thought that it would be a good idea to write a down a blog post about how our team performs it, perhaps the most fruitful event of Scrum framework.

First of all, this is an entirely internal event lead by the Scrum Master closed to any stakeholders . Typically, we organize it just after the Sprint review scheduled for 2 hours (we run 2 weeks long Sprints). At the very beginning, we have a quick chat about the past Sprint followed by the D.A.K.I. session. DAKI is the abbreviation for:

  • Drop
  • Add
  • Keep
  • Improve

Here below you can see the output of our last Retro session.                                                            

Every team member spent a few minutes silently on her own and writes down the things that she/he thinks need to be dropped, added, kept and improved on the following Sprints. Once everybody has finished, the post-its are categorized to the relavant sections. After that, every team member votes the most 5 critical items to get prioritized for the team.

The Scrum Master transfers all of these comments completely to a comprehensive Excel file for monitoring purposes. As the PO, I add the top 3 Retro items to the Backlog to be scoped to the next Sprint.

The majority of items are obstacles those needs to be addressed by the management. There are also items those may require a cultural transformation at the organizational level or adjustment at the responsility matrix. We ask to the management to handle items those are out of the team’s impact area.

All in all, personally Retro is the Scrum event I like the most. It allows the team openly discuss the things that will help to become a better team. It’s a continous improvement opportunity and it’s key for building better products. Please bear in mind that it is extremely important to take rigid steps on the identifed improvements and not to let them fade away. This is particularly important for the early Sprints as the lack of progress on the output of the Retro will discourage the team on the following events.

Happy World Retro Day 🙂 

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