Remember those infamous “Lessons learned” meetings you used to attend at the end of each project? How many action plans came out of these meetings? How many of the issues identified by the team somehow magically reappeared right away in your next project? Tell me; wouldn’t it benefit the team more to address these issues during the project instead of waiting to do so at the end?
This is where the Sprint retrospective comes in. At the end of every sprint, team members meet to discuss what went right and what went wrong during the sprint. There are many approaches to holding retrospectives and it is good to use different approaches to keep the retrospectives fresh and team members engaged.
Keys to a healthy retrospective
At the start of a retrospective, to set the tone and create an environment of trust, it is important to remind team members of the retrospective prime directive:
„Regardless of what we discover, we understand and truly believe that everyone did the best job they could, given what they knew at the time, their skills and abilities, the resources available, and the situation at hand.“
–Norm Kerth, Project Retrospectives: A Handbook for Team Reviews.