Retrospective is known to be one of the most valuable ceremonies in Scrum. This is an opportunity for the team to take a look back on the past Sprint and learn. Retrospectives can be frustrating or interesting and lively - a lot depends on the facilitator. There are a number of supporting tools on the market to help keeping Retrospectives engaging (and manageable if you work with distributed teams). Yet, there are also some base steps, which we should remember while holding retrospectives regardless of the chosen tool or method.

41 favorite thumb_down thumb_up 3 comments visibility_off  Remove from Watchlist visibility  Add to Watchlist

Outline/structure of the Session

Like it is said "Better to See Once Than to Hear 100 Times”, the goal of this simulation is to demonstrate retrospective on a typical Scrum team by keeping in mind fundamental steps which are essential to achieving a successful outcome.

Learning Outcome

By the end of this simulation you will know key facilitation techniques for holding an effective Retrospective. 

Target Audience

Scrum Masters, Project Managers, Release Train Engineers, and anyone interested in learning about effective retrospective facilitation

schedule Submitted 2 years ago

Comments Subscribe to Comments

comment Comment on this Submission
  • George Dinwiddie
    By George Dinwiddie  ~  2 years ago
    reply Reply

    Maria, this proposal leaves the program committee in the dark about what you think is an effective retrospective and how you intend to conduct the session.

    • Maria Smyslova
      By Maria Smyslova  ~  2 years ago
      reply Reply

      Please see below.


      1.what you think is an effective retrospective 

      Effective retrospective is a retrospective that ends with a list of prioritized actionable items, which can be committed to and achieved relatively quickly (preferably within a Sprint timeframe).  

      To make retrospective effective, the facilitator should consider the following: 

      1. Create lively and friendly environment where all participants feel safe and comfortable expressing their thoughts (i.e.  Ice Breaker exercises, which are particularly helpful with new teams; ground rules such as “no finger pointing” etc.)
      2. Make sure the team is clear on the goals and expected outcomes  
      3. Engage the team by making format of the retrospective exciting (for example, using retrospective games)
      4. Assure the team does not derail the session ("parking lot” technic can be helpful here)
      5. Let the team prioritize identified action items, brainstorm solutions and commit to the most important items (typically top 3-4 items)

      2. How you intend to conduct the session

      My thought is to do a simulation. I will have a group of four - five people representing "Scrum team”. Team members will know their script (each member will represent certain personality type and bring up an impediment/suggestion/feedback). I will play the role of a Scrum Master and facilitate the ceremony taking into account the above-mentioned steps.

      • George Dinwiddie
        By George Dinwiddie  ~  2 years ago
        reply Reply

        One problem I've had with simulated retrospectives is the lack of shared context among the participants. Perhaps if there is some short "work" exercise then it will give them something to reflect on.

    • Liked Maria Smyslova

      Maria Smyslova - Agile (Scrum) transformation : Learn from the mistakes of others

      45 Mins

      Agile adoption can be very challenging and many companies run into various issues on the path to transforming their organizations. Scrum is one of the most common Agile frameworks and is the focus of this talk. 

       A lot of new teams are failing to start with creating a healthy backlog which is a backbone of a Scrum project (properly sliced stories, clear prioritization, non-functional work etc.) 

      Others are trying to tailor their processes to the selected agile software management tools rather than focusing on practices that can increase team’s velocity and product quality.

      The goal of this talk is to have an interactive discussion about lessons learned and best practices that can be helpful in implementing Scrum as well as sustaining it in a more efficient and stress-less way.