What is a retrospective and what is scrum?
A retrospective is a method to increase quality and effectiveness. It’s used in a daily scrum meeting. Scrum is one of the Agile frameworks and is a method to develop software in a team in an effective and flexible way. IT business have proven that Scrum is a very successful tool to collaborate. This success is inspiring other business departments to use scrum as well. Marketing, sales, HR and finance teams are adapting scrum for their departments.
The retrospective is one of the most important processes in scrum. It enables your team to learn, improve and adapt. In this article we’ll take a closer look at some of the principles behind the method and why it works.
Picture going on going to the moon with your fellow astronauts. During the mission several of your fellow astronauts get wounded and some lives get lost. What can be done to prevent similar situations from happening in the future? Space exploration is expensive and dangerous. Nasa uses debriefing methods after every mission and simulation. Commanders use it as a tool to get data and insights. Astronauts use it to learn what happened and how improve upon what happened. In this way every mission and task brings knowledge and experience for future ones. No knowledge goes to waste.
The same principle also applies in a work environment. The Nasa debriefing has many similarities with retrospectives and shares the same principles. Team Members are the ones doing the work and have the most insight in what happened and what needs to change.
Problems are discussed in an open mindset without blaming each other. Retrospectives deal with challenges that affects the employee’s performance, motivation and collaboration. It’s not only useful to find and discuss problems. It leads to results of wanted change.
How does a retrospective meeting work?
A retrospective concludes the Sprint (milestone). The retrospective meeting has a set time depending on the lengt of the sprint. A retrospective meeting can take place offline or online. Offline in a room with a whiteboard. Online with the use of a retrospectives tool. There is a free retro tool or payed retro tools available.
During the Sprint Retrospective, the team discusses:
- What went well?
- What could be improved?
- What will we commit to improve?
The Team plans ways to increase product quality. For example, by improving work processes or adapting the definition of “Done”. By the end of meeting, the team should have identified improvements that it will use in the future. This way it provides an opportunity to focus on inspection and adaption.
Doing retrospectives on a regular basis helps you figure out what the obstacles are. It helps you work more efficiently as a group. You’ll know how to work on challenges you’re facing. You’ll learn from your mistakes and build a stronger collaboration culture.