Sprint Retrospectives as a vehicle for continuous improvement

Agile is not just a great methodology for implementing complex projects, it also helps solving operational problems and developing best practices.

While the Sprint Planning, Standup, Sprint Review and Backlog Grooming meetings are focused on the project, the Sprint Retrospective is focused on improving the way the team executes their sprint for the purpose of continuous improvement.

This meeting is scheduled at the end of every sprint, after the Sprint Review. Only the Agile team is invited, and they are asked two simple questions:

  • What did we do well?
  • What could we have done better?

Notice that those questions are oriented to collect positive feedback, they are also inclusive, you don’t want people pointing fingers to each other and justifying things that went wrong during the sprint. Instead, you want them to reflect, have a dialog as a team and come up with action items to resolve the most critical problems and establish more standards and procedures to avoid them.

I remember that once we adopted the Agile methodology, we noticed improvements in the way we worked as a team just in a matter of weeks.

However, even if we are working much more efficiently now, we still find things and processes to improve in every retrospective. The thing is that you will never end improving your standards and procedures.