10 things to mess up your retrospective


It’s about time for a new list. Today, I decided to write a list on how to mess up your retrospective. There are a lot of possibilities to do this and the following tips will help you doing so 😉

1 – don’t prepare anything

As the retrospective is the simplest and least important meeting of all Scrum meetings, it doesn’t need any preparation. Just come together and start. Wait, where are the pens and the post-its? Forget about it! Just sit together and chat a bit.

2 – Start immediately

As there is no need to set the stage, start immediately with gathering data. Immediately start the retrospective with asking the two questions: “What went wrong?” and “What went well”. That should be sufficient to get great results.

This blog post has moved to marcloeffler.eu


6 thoughts on “10 things to mess up your retrospective”

  1. Great post! As usual, the devil is in the details. Manu of your ten points look like small things, be they can make the difference between an effective agile retrospective, or just another (wasted) meeting.

    I’ve written a short article on my bloag about how to get more business value out of Agile Retrospectives. It’s about things like empowering the teams to take action, using Root Cause Analysis to understand problems at hand, and several techniques to do a retrospective.

  2. Great viewpoint, thanks for sharing. But I disagree with the Post Its usage. To be honest I love Post Its (we use recycle paper :) ), its another way to keep those intro people share their thoughts, if round table discussion is bit hold them for their ideas. We used to gather all those post-it, after the retro and document them, stick on the wall for team to refer to / move forward from the retro meeting. Just my thinking. Happy for discussion and debate 😛

    1. Maybe, I don’t get your question. I totally agree that Post-Its are a good thing, that’s why my article is named “10 things to MESS UP your retrospective”.

  3. Didn’t care for your format, too much sarcasm. I think you had good points – but it wasn’t clear what you actually expect. I’ve been doing scrum for 3 years and I don’t know what you expect for some of these. Tough luck to anybody new to scrum.

  4. Nice post, thanks for sharing these points. I’ll have to re-check our retrospectives with your list.

    What would be a helpful extension, if you could describe your flow of the retrospective – showing how long and at which point you embedd e.g. the check for the last retro results, how do you administer the tasks found including responsibilities (who can be responsible?).

    Maybe in one of your next posts 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.