14 June 2021

The Scrum framework (14) : Sprint Retrospective

The Scrum Framework :

  • The Scrum Framework consists of Scrum Teams and their associated events, artifacts, and roles as defined in the Scrum Guide.
  • According to the Scrum Guide, mandatory rules and principles of Scrum are Scrum Roles, Scrum Events, Sprint Goal, Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog, Increment, Definition of Done, and Monitoring progress in Sprint and Project levels. Other things are practices that can be employed in the Scrum framework and are up to the team and project and are not mandatory.

The Scrum roles :

  • Product Owner
  • Development Team (Developers)
  • Scrum Master

The Scrum artifacts :

  • Artifacts represent work or value to provide transparency and opportunities for inspection and adaption.
  • Artifacts are defined by Scrum and designed to maximize transparency of key information so that everybody has the same understanding.
  • Product Backlog
  • Sprint backlog
  • Increment

The Scrum events :

  • Sprint Planning
  • Daily Scrum
  • Sprint Review
  • Sprint Retrospective
  • The Sprint is the container for all events

Rules :

  • According to the Scrum Guide, mandatory rules and principles of Scrum are Scrum Roles, Scrum Events, Sprint Goal, Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog, Increment, Definition of Done, and Monitoring progress in Sprint and Project levels. Other things are practices that could employ in the Scrum framework and are up to the team and project and are not mandatory.

Events :

  • Events present an opportunity in the Sprint for something to be inspected or adopted.
  • Events are designed to enable transparency and inspection
  • There are totally 5 events in the Scrum framework as Sprint, Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective.
  • Four Events of Inspection & Adaption
    1. Sprint Planning
    2. Daily Scrum
    3. Sprint Review
    4. Sprint Retrospective
  • The Sprint is a container for other events.
  • All four Scrum events are a type of feedback loop or inspect and adapt opportunities include Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective. Although Sprint is an event its role is being a container for other events. Product Backlog refinement is a continuous activity and is not a feedback loop.

Sprint Retrospective :

  • Sprint Retrospective is a mandatory event of Scrum and is a feedback loop that team members can inspect their process to establish continuous improvement. It should be conducted at the end of each Sprint. The Scrum Team plans ways to increase product quality by improving work processes or adapting the definition of”done.”
  • The Sprint Retrospective serves the Scrum Team to inspect the past Sprint and plan for improvementsto be enacted during the next Sprint.
  • In addition, the Sprint Retrospective is also a mandatory event of Scrum and is about the Scrum Team and processes.
  • Sprint Retrospective is an opportunity for the Scrum Team to inspect itself and create a plan for improvements to be enacted during the next Sprint.
  • The Sprint Retrospective has a 3 hours maximum, but can be shorter with Sprints under a month long.

Sprint Retrospective purpose :

  • Sprint Retrospective must inspect how the last Sprint went with regards to people, relationships, process, and tools.
  • Sprint Retrospective should identify and order the major items that went well and potential improvements to the way the Scrum Team does work.
  • Sprint Retrospective should create a plan for implementing improvements to the way the Scrum Team does its work.

Sprint Retrospective improvement :

  • Simplicity and reflection are core agile practices. Simplicity, “the art of maximizing the amount of work not done”, is one of the Agile Manifesto principles. Reflection is in the center of iteration retrospectives aimed to improve the team’s process and performance. Focusing on reflection and simplicity will most likely help the team improve its process.

Sprint Retrospective participants :

  • All the Scrum Team.
  • The Scrum Master participates as a peer team member in the meeting from the accountability over the Scrum process.

Sprint Retrospective practice :

  • Scrum Master (SM) ensures that the Sprint Retrospective takes place and is understood.
  • SM must ensure that the Sprint Retrospective remains positive and productive, and that attendants understand the purpose.
  • SM teaches the team to keep the Sprint Retrospective within the time-box.
  • The Sprint Retrospective occurs after the Sprint Review and prior to the next Sprint Planning. This is at most a three-hour meeting for one-month Sprints or shorter.

Sprint Retrospective impediments :

  • What should the Scrum Team have identified by the end of the Sprint Retrospective ? Improvements that will be implemented for the next Sprint. In the precedent Scrum Guide (edition 2017), at least one priority process improvement identified in the Sprint Retrospective is added to the Sprint Backlog. Now in the Scrum Guide 2020, the process improvements are added to the Product Backlog and ordered by the Product Owner. After the Retrospective discussion all the improvement items discussed are placed in the Product Backlog. To ensure continuous improvement, the next Sprint Backlog (& not the current one) should include at least one high priority process improvement identified in the previous Sprint Retrospective meeting.

More informations for the Scrum PSD certification here.

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