What Questions Should Be Asked At Retrospective Meetings

At the end of a two week sprint, some would say the Retrospective meeting is the most important meeting of them all. In this meeting certain questions need to be asked to correctly summarise the sprint. This blog will detail what they are and why they need to be asked in this blog.

1. What did we do well in the sprint?

One of the reasons why this needs to be raised is because if the team do not highlight the good aspects and why they were good, there is that risk that these factors could be overlooked in future sprints. It is also good to congratulate the team on the good work during the sprint as this enables the team to stay motivated and maintain the good aspects of the team development. Sometimes rating how members felt the sprint went and explaining why is a useful tool to obtain feedback because every member of the team will have a different take.

2. What didn’t go well and why?

It is important for each team member to discuss what did not go well and why, this is because these factors need to be highlighted to firstly ensure it does not happen again in the next sprint and to obtain team consensus around how these problems will be prevented in future. Everyone needs to feel that they can express their honest opinion in order for the team to gain the most out of this question. One way to get the most out of this meeting is to create an anonymous exercise where each person writes their points on a piece of paper and each point written down is picked from a hat one by one and read out to the team. It is essential this is done well every two weeks.

3. What can we learn ?

It is important in retrospective meetings that as a team you are able to review your sprint and look at the good things you learned during that sprint for example, a good approach to a tricky situation and the bad things that you learned that made you realise we should not try that again for a particular reason.

4. What still needs further development ?

In an Agile software environment there can be highly technical stories within a project that may need further reviewing added to this, there could be difficulties in the team balancing work between testers and developers whilst sprinting. So there needs to be time for team investigation and actions that will be taken forward into the next sprint. These actions will need to be brought up in the next retrospective to review and see how far the team has come.

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