Retrospective meetings

Retrospective meetings help obtain feedback on team process in order to learn what should be continued and what should be adjusted as the team moves forward. A simple framework to structure both positive and negative feedback and plan actions to improve with each iteration. Retrospectives can be run after each sprint and release or after finishing a project.

How to use

Team provides open-ended feedback using a wheel that encourages team members to assess an iteration or milestone using 5 categories:

  • Ask:
    • What should we start doing that perhaps we haven’t done yet?
    • What should we stop doing, that’s not contributing or is getting in our way?
    • What is working that we want to continue to do?
    • What should we do more of? Less of?” Capture feedback in the retrospective wheel.
  • Keep time constraint while going through the retrospective.
  • For team up to seven people, retrospective should not take more than 10-15 minutes. For larger groups, consider 25 minutes.
  • For large groups (9 or more) doing a retrospective of a large milestone, iteration or whole project:
    • divide into subgroups to focus on one aspect of the iteration or project such as testing, requirements, customer involvement, and so forth
    • encourage participants to form cross-functional subgroups (so different roles are represented in each subgroup)
    • each group covers their topic at a time in eight minutes
    • then groups discuss the wheel and add together additional comments

At the end of the retrospective meeting, focus on creating actionable tasks based on the feedback and comments on the wheel as well as agreeing on ownership for each action item. In the end, your goal is to keep improving and prioritizing tasks for improvement is the only way to achieve that. 

Open the retrospective meetings template to get full tips on running effective retros and continuously improving.