At the end of every sprint, a scrum team will hold a meeting called the sprint retrospective. Usually, the scrum master facilitates this meeting. During this meeting the scrum team discusses the just-concluded sprint and determines what kind of changes might make the next sprint more productive.

The sprint retrospective is an important part of the scrum process, because it’s focused on continuously improving the effectiveness of the scrum team. One of the principles of the Agile Manifesto: At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.

Are you interested in reading more about the role of the scrum master? Make sure to read the following blogs as well:

Tips and ideas for a lively sprint retrospective

Sprint retrospectives are very helpful for improving future sprints, however, they are often experienced as boring and monotonous. Boring meetings mean less engagement. That’s not what you want, right? So how could you spice up your sprint retrospectives? We’ve listed 5 ideas that will help you!

Start, stop and continue

A good way to conduct a sprint retrospective is by asking each team member what they would start, stop and continue doing during the upcoming sprints.

The start items are things that a team member thinks your team should add to the scrum process. For example, being on time for the daily standup, or finishing one story before starting the next.

The stop items are things that a team member thinks your team should stop doing during the scrum process because it’s a waste of time of inefficient. For example, taking more than 15 minutes for the daily standup.

The continue items are things that a team member thinks your team should continue doing. These are things that are not yet habits but should be habits.

Take turns facilitating the scrum retrospective

Usually, the scrum master is the one to facilitate the retrospective. Instead of this, you can ask each team member to take turns conducting the meeting. This way you won’t have the same kind of meeting every single time. Each person can facilitate the meeting on their own way and enjoy taking ownership. Everyone will have their own way of how to make the sprint retrospective more effective.

Choose a different location

It might do wonders to choose a different location for the retrospective once in a while. Leave the office and go somewhere else, like a park, boat, coffee bar, inspiring meeting locations. A completely different location can really help with boosting creativity at brainstorming and defining out-of-the-box ideas. Give it a try!

Expectations

To keep everyone engaged and make sure you all are on the same line, you can play this game called Expectations. During this game, every team member gets a sheet of paper that is blank on the lower half and has two sections in the top half:

  • What my teammates expect from me
  • What I expect from my teammates

After filling in the top half for themselves, each team member passes their paper to the left and reviews the sheet they got from another team member. On the lower half of the paper, they write down what they actually expect from the person who wrote it. They then sign the paper and pass it on to the next person. After a full round, the team reviews and discusses expectations.

Give kudos to the team

During the sprint retrospective, never forget to appreciate and thank your team members for the ways they have helped you or each other. This can have a lasting impact on the team and really help everyone to be engaged and motivated. You can also try to reserve a small space in the team room and capture all the kudos given to each team member during the scrum process. It helps them stay motivated and feel good when something positive is visible in the team area.

What do you think?

What do you think? Do you have other good ideas for an effective sprint retrospectives?

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