How to run a sprint retrospective and make the change in your organisation Essay

We understand you’re here to get some clarity on your process. Yes, you recently started an agile way of managing your projects and riding a roller coaster ride. But, you still have the confidence of doing things better the next time. Appreciate your efforts and would like to share some suggestions to make it happen.

You guessed it right, this article will not beat around the bush talking about a sprint, the retrospectives, popular ways to achieve them etc. We are well aware that many blogs have a come up with all the following methods demonstrated in the infographics. Therefore, we will make you think differently to become a pro to make changes in your organization and achieve the goal.

Before that let’s not deviate from the topic and yes we will be discussing the sprint retrospective only. This is a discussion; no rather I call it a brainstorming session to not find the mistakes in the current sprint to make changes proactively to not make mistakes in future sprints.

Change your approach this way to make changes

Every 4 weeks sprint will be followed by a retrospective to understand what went wrong and this last for more than 3 hours. So we will provide you with an innovative approach to handle the session in an effective way to implement changes immediately. After using these approaches, you can see the team coming forward with output and you need not chase them for results.

These are indeed effective and read more to agree with us.

1. Involve the Team

How can you arrive at results without the team? Do you think the PO, SM, and the PM does the job? Then you’re wrong. It is the team the developer and the tester who are the core for successful completion of the work. If you agree with this, then you will certainly include the team in your meeting. Involving alone will not help, but they must be empowered to talk.

Know what happens today in every meeting – The team is called for the SRM and bombarded with questions about what went wrong, why it happened etc. The team tries to explain but no one hears them out. This meeting conducted for hours will not produce any results.

Instead – do it this way – Call the team and ask them to share their views without any questions. Let them speak their mind. Allow them to explain why it went wrong. Make them think who is responsible for the same. This is the same as before but with the difference that they are empowered to speak and it is not a fault finding meeting. This small space given to them will let them take the ownership and they will run with the project next time.

2. Carefully choose the facilitator

The facilitator is as important as the team because this person holds the key to the meeting. The way the meeting is conducted relies on this person's hands. So it is important that this person is rotated to breath fresh air every time. Yes, each individual will have a different innovative thought process and will help the team find new ways to work for the next sprint.

At the same time remember that the facilitator must not be an amateur person. Further, ensure he/she should be able to coach the team in the right direction. Therefore choose a facilitator wisely to progress upward during the next sprint.

3. Follow a simple process

Now, the team is empowered and the facilitator is ready to drive the team. What next, devise a process? But, make it simple. Leave the decision making of starting which module, stopping which one and continuing to the team. They are the batsman and let them have that liberty of deciding. Do not force them to complete the task based on a high-level need. The final goal is to deliver the product to the owner per specification. This is done by dividing the work into small chunks for every sprint. So let the team decide the first, second etc. Both way it won’t harm as the end result will be the same and that is the end product. So chill, and let the team run the show.

4. The novel approach to impact even the naïve team

Here, let me talk about an important concept called a novel approach. Nothing is technical here, but introduce some games to get work done. Wondering how come games help in a retrospective meeting? It will and find the explanation below with a couple of examples.

LEGO game – LEGO yes the same game which most of us loved to play when we were kids. Use the blocks and show your creativity. The same concept will be used here. Get all team members to form a circle and sit to play with the LEGO bricks. Keep the BGM on; yes let them have the party fun.

• Ask them to build the figure reflecting the sprint using the bricks.

• Let them have no restriction to use bricks and provide each guy sufficient time to complete.

• Upon completion ask them to explain about the figure. They will pour their concerns here forgetting that it is a sprint retrospective.

• Now, ask them to make a figure which will help them do better in the next sprint. Remind them to think of a model keeping the solution in mind and not the problem.

After this talk to them and freeze on a solid action point. You’re done!.

RETRO game - Here you can make use of cards with 3 basic questions and distribute individually to each team member. The questions are as follows. Note: You need not to use the same questions but in the same lines frame questions to make your team think. Make many questions for each category and arrange them.

1) What is in your mind right now?

2) What is required to succeed?

3) How to reach the end result?

Give them the rule cards to explain the game rules. Use dice and ask each person to roll the dice. You can choose this order based on your convenience. When the dice display number 1, 2 or 3 choose one card from the category one, 4 means category two, and 5 or 6 categories 3. The person will read the question and share their answers with the team. Once they complete others can share their views as well. Likewise continue and get answers for all questions.

It is nothing different from a traditional meeting but when you say game, and then the team feels motivated and involve themselves to find a solution. Your next sprint will show positive results as you have geared up the team now.

In summary, use these tactics and bring the best out of your team to achieve the goal.


SRM – Sprint Retrospective Meeting

SM – Scrum Master

PO – Product Owner

PM – Project Manager

BGM – Back Ground Music

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