The Iteration Retrospective is a construct of agile development. The Retrospective is a meeting that occurs at the end of each sprint and is used to discuss existing practices, with a focus on ways the team can improve during the next sprint.
In the SAFe® Lean Agile Mindset, the Retrospective represents the pillar of relentless improvement. Only team members participate in the Retrospective with the Scrum Master facilitating. The event is time boxed to an hour or less and revolves around the following questions:
- What’s working well?
- What isn’t?
- What can the team do better next time?
A successful Retrospective incorporates the following:
- Quantitative Insights - Capture measurements, such as team velocity, to share at the Retrospective to provide context.
- Qualitative Insights - Additional insights, such as team dependencies, to provide further context beyond the numbers.
- Improvement Stories - Based on the team’s feedback on what could be done better, capture 1-2 stories to be included in the next sprint’s work. Ensure they are achievable by the team and not based on factors beyond the team’s control.
- Full Team Participation - The full team, Product Owner, Team and Scrum Master should participate. Retrospectives should be a collaborative process, allowing everyone the chance to speak.
- Review of Previous Sprint’s Improvement Stories - Review the stories that the team committed to focus on during the last Retrospective. Discuss progress, and if further work is needed, consider adding that to the stories committed to in the next sprint.
Retrospectives are one of the most commonly used tools in the Agile toolkit. According to VersionOne’s 10th Annual State of Agile survey, nearly three-quarters of all Agile teams conduct regular Retrospectives.1