A sprint retrospective is a meeting that is held at the end of a sprint in Agile software development. In the sprint retrospective meeting, the team reflects on what went well and what should be improved in the last sprint and identifies action items for improvement going forward.
At Kipwise, we run a sprint retrospective meeting biweekly. And here’s how we do it:
To make the sprint retrospective meeting more efficient, our teammates will fill in certain parts of this sprint retrospective template prior to the meeting. To make sure we don’t forget, we have set up a Slack reminder to remind teammates to fill in this sprint retrospective template biweekly prior to the meeting.
In the summary section, the sprint manager will answer 2 questions:
Every teammate has to fill out the feedback section in the retrospective meeting template. There are 2 questions they have to answer:
At the beginning of the agile retrospective meeting, the sprint manager will first have a quick recap on what was planned for that sprint, whether we have achieved everything we have planned and if not, what are the reasons behind.
The answers of these questions help to set the scene for the sprint retrospective meeting and look for insights on how we can plan better for the next sprint. For example, if we keep on answering “overachieved” for several sprint, is that we always haven’t planned enough tasks for a sprint? Likewise, if we often answer “no”, is that we should include more buffers in a sprint for ad-hoc tasks that might come into the way?
Then we will go through the teammates feedback on what went well and what needs to be improved. The key idea here is to find out what can be reproduced (what went well) and figure out action items to improve on things that we did not do well in the last sprint.
List out the learnings and action items in separate sections in this sprint retrospective template so it’s easy to look back in the future and reflect on them in the next sprint retrospective. For action items, we will also create related Trello cards so we won’t forget to implement them.
To make sure we are really acting upon our learnings and action items, in every sprint retrospective meeting, we will revisit the key takeaways and action items that we have laid out for the last sprint to see if we have really improved in this sprint. If we have, give a round of applause to celebrate even if it’s just a small win. If we haven’t, reflect on why and lay out action items to improve in the next sprint.