When Is A Sprint Retrospective Ceremony Performed?
A sprint retrospective ceremony is a Scrum meeting held after every sprint. Its purpose is to reflect on the work done and how effective (or ineffective) it was.
This review process is essential in laying the foundation for future sprints. It can also highlight areas that need improvement.
But, when is a sprint retrospective ceremony performed, and how do you go about it?
Find out all you need to know about the timing and procedure of sprint retrospective ceremonies in the guide below.
When Is A Sprint Retrospective Ceremony Performed?
A sprint retrospective ceremony is the final step in the sprint process and offers much insight into the sprint's ups and downs.
So, when is a sprint retrospective ceremony performed? A sprint retrospective ceremony is the meeting held post-sprint, before moving on to the next sprint or project stage.
This step can't be overlooked before moving on to future sprints. The outcomes of a sprint retrospective heavily influence the planning stage of any subsequent sprint.
The most common time a sprint retrospective ceremony is performed is immediately after a sprint has ended. Otherwise, the sprint retrospective should be scheduled as soon as possible. This way, all the highs and lows of the sprint will be fresh in the minds of each team member.
What if some members can't attend? Should the meeting be postponed, held with some team members, or hosted remotely?
All scrum team members must attend the sprint retrospective. Hosting a sprint retrospective remotely is a great way to accommodate team members who are not able to physically attend the retrospective ceremony. Let's discuss this.
Remote Sprint Retrospective Ceremonies
All team members should be aware of the retrospective meeting in advance. This gives them time to prepare, and arrive at the venue in a timely fashion.
However, certain team members may not be able to attend in person. In this case, they should be accommodated, not excluded! Every team member must attend the sprint retrospective. This will ensure that the team gets the most value from each meeting.
If some members cannot attend physically, consider including them remotely, or moving the meeting online.
In the case of a remote sprint retrospective meeting, virtual collaborative tools, like video conferencing software, are essential.
Make sure that each team member is familiar with the conferencing software. This will help them to easily engage in the meeting, and to provide the necessary input and feedback.
How Often Is A Sprint Retrospective Completed?
After each sprint, a sprint retrospective meeting should be held.
The sprint review is the second-last event of a sprint, to update the work backlog on which the next sprint will be based. Project stakeholders generally attend the sprint review, along with the scrum team.
The sprint retrospective, on the other hand, is the last event. It is held at the very end of each sprint. Therefore, the number of sprints in a project determines how often retrospective meetings are held.
The focus is on the team's performance as a cohesive unit, and how it can be improved for greater efficiency and cooperation. Only the Scrum team attends the retrospective meeting.
Tips For A Great Sprint Retrospective
1. Celebrate The Team Wins
It may be tempting to spend more time on the failures than the successes of the sprint, in a bid to improve the sprint process. This is certainly vital to the success of the next sprint.
But, don't forget to give praise where it is due. Take note of the innovative ways in which your Scrum team resolved problems in the sprint. Future teams can learn much from this.
Take the time to celebrate the team's collaborative spirit, interpersonal dynamics, and overall successes. This will motivate them to once again perform their best in future sprints.
2. Learn From Their Losses
The Scrum team should remember that the sprint retrospective is not a blame game. Rather than pointing fingers, the team should work to provide constructive feedback to each other.
This feedback is central to the retrospective process! Constructive feedback can reveal exciting information. It will quickly show where the lines of communication broke down. This can then be addressed in future sprints.
It also pinpoints those team members who need more confidence in their role, the ones who need help, and those who demonstrate leadership.
3. Encourage Interaction
Encourage all team members to participate.
Some may be more forthcoming than others, but this can be addressed by including games and activities that highlight pertinent issues in the sprint. When teams feel they are having fun. They are more likely to cooperate.
A retrospective meeting can last anywhere from one hour (in the case of shorter, two-week sprints) to three hours. Longer retrospective meetings are only needed for longer sprint cycles.
Ensure that these meetings are planned so that they don't run overtime. The Scrum team leader should ensure that each team member has a chance to speak and that the team is engaged throughout the meeting.
Before the retrospective meeting, the team should jot down their general thoughts about the sprint. These can be used as a guideline during the meeting when team members are asked for feedback.
In the case of longer sprint retrospective ceremonies, allow for short breaks. This helps team members stay refreshed and engaged.
So, when is a sprint retrospective ceremony performed, and why?
This meeting is held after every sprint and gives the team a chance to reflect on their performance.
Rather than focusing on the actual work, the team should review how well the work was done. What worked, and what didn't? Why?
Discussing these questions can encourage valuable feedback from team members. This will benefit future sprints by making them more effective.