We know you, or members of your Team, have thought about it. Perhaps it’s even been a discussion at one of your Retrospectives[1]. So, let’s get it out there and ask the question:

Select your answer for the following question:

Should the Team be allowed to drop the Retrospective?

  1. Yes, It’s their process why not?
  2. No, explain to them and work through why the Retrospective is so important.
  3. Maybe, if they are no longer a Team then why continue with Scrum?
  4. Only do Retrospectives once a quarter and build up a good list of things to change.
  5. Yes, the process will take care of itself and we don’t need to watch it that closely. After all it’s common sense!

Sprint Retrospective Team

3Back Weighs In

It boils down to this rule: If the Team is not doing Retrospective, then they are not doing Scrum. The Retrospective is where the Team takes formal ownership of their process. In these situations I crack shins, and kick knee caps and generally do what is necessary to ensure they continue doing a Retrospective. Without that, we often see Teams fall into “it’s not my fault” because “x” told me to. In some cases, “x” is the process that no-one owns. Imagine the process that gets created by someone who decides to own it, but does not do it themselves!

Retrospective is an external constraint that must be demanded of the Team. There are many ways to run a good Retrospective. ScrumMasters, rise to the challenge and support your Team.

Looking for more information on effective Retrospectives?

We Recommend The Following Great Reads

Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen

A fantastic book for those new to the world of Scrum, Agile, and Retrospectives, but also a must-have addition for any ScrumMaster or Agilist’s library.

Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers by Dave Gray, Sunni Brown and James Macanufo

For ScrumMasters looking to inject some renewed energy into their Retrospectives, this book offers a plethora of creative ways to do just that.

Innovation Games: Creating Breakthrough Products Through Collaborative Play by Luke Hohmann

We 3Backers are big fans of Luke Hohmann and this book is exactly why we like his inspired approach to using games to enhance your Retrospectives as well as identify what your customer needs and to deliver it.

As Always, Stay Agile.


Notes and Sources

  1. “Retrospectives.” Scrum Dictionary, accessed July 3, 2017, https://scrumdictionary.com.

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