Your go-to resource for acronyms, jargons, terminology, and useful words for product and customer experience teams.


Agile Retrospectives

What is an Agile retrospective?

An Agile retrospective is a meeting held at the end of an iteration or sprint where the team reviews what went well, what didn’t, and how they can improve in future sprints. It encourages reflection and continuous improvement.

Why are Agile retrospectives important?

Agile retrospectives are important because they promote a culture of continuous improvement, help identify and resolve issues, enhance team collaboration, and ensure that the development process evolves and improves over time.

Who participates in an Agile retrospective?

The entire Agile team participates in a retrospective, including developers, testers, the Scrum Master (or Agile coach), and the product owner. Sometimes stakeholders may also be invited.

What are the typical activities in an Agile retrospective?

Typical activities include discussing what went well, identifying problems or challenges, brainstorming solutions, and creating an action plan for improvements. Various facilitation techniques like timelines, Start/Stop/Continue, and the 4Ls (Liked, Learned, Lacked, Longed for) can be used.

How often should Agile retrospectives be held?

Agile retrospectives are usually held at the end of each sprint or iteration, which typically occurs every one to four weeks, depending on the team’s sprint length.

What are some common techniques used in Agile retrospectives?

Common techniques include Start/Stop/Continue, the 4Ls, Mad/Sad/Glad, Fishbone Diagram, and Timeline Retrospective. These techniques help structure the discussion and encourage constructive feedback.

What is the role of the Scrum Master in a retrospective?

The Scrum Master facilitates the retrospective, ensuring that the discussion remains focused, productive, and inclusive. They help the team identify action items and follow up on previous commitments.

How can teams ensure effective Agile retrospectives?

Teams can ensure effective retrospectives by creating a safe environment for open communication, using diverse facilitation techniques, focusing on actionable improvements, and consistently following up on action items.

What is the outcome of an Agile retrospective?

The outcome of an Agile retrospective is typically a set of actionable items or improvements that the team commits to implementing in the next sprint or iteration. It also includes a better understanding of the team’s strengths and areas for growth.

What challenges might a team face during a retrospective?

Challenges can include lack of participation, defensiveness, not addressing the root cause of issues, failing to follow up on action items, and lack of a safe space for honest communication.

How can a team address negativity during retrospectives?

A team can address negativity by creating a positive and respectful environment, focusing on solutions rather than blame, using structured techniques to guide the discussion, and ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard.

What is the difference between a sprint review and a retrospective?

A sprint review focuses on the product increment and what was delivered during the sprint, involving stakeholders and customers. A retrospective, on the other hand, focuses on the team’s processes and performance, involving only the Agile team.

Can Agile retrospectives be conducted remotely?

Yes, Agile retrospectives can be conducted remotely using video conferencing tools and digital collaboration platforms like Miro, MURAL, or Trello. Remote retrospectives require careful facilitation to ensure engagement and participation.

What is the “Prime Directive” in Agile retrospectives?

The “Prime Directive” is a statement often used to set the tone for retrospectives, emphasizing that the team assumes everyone did their best given the circumstances. It promotes a blame-free environment and focuses on collective improvement.

How do retrospectives contribute to continuous improvement?

Retrospectives contribute to continuous improvement by regularly reflecting on the team’s processes, identifying areas for enhancement, and implementing actionable changes. This iterative reflection and action cycle helps the team evolve and become more effective over time.