Scrum Retrospectives: Go Big or Go Home

Posted by Keith McMillan

March 22, 2016 | Leave a Comment

I’m in a coaching mindset recently, since the current client is employing me to do that first and foremost. It’s gotten me thinking that we need a different approach to retrospectives than I’ve seen commonly used in the industry.I’ve seen lot of teams use the “do more,” “do less” and “keep doing” questions for a retrospective, or the start, stop, continue variation. I’ve also seen lots of teams who’s retrospectives amount to window dressing. One team recently suggested to me that their main improvement the next sprint was to do a better job updating their remaining hours for the burn-down.

Going back to basic principles behind the manifesto, we want to regularly reflect on how to become more effective, and tune and adapt our behavior accordingly (emphasis mine). You are of course welcome to your own opinion, but I don’t feel that updating your burn-down will make you that much more effective as a team.

I hereby propose a new question for retrospectives, and perhaps the only one that might be necessary. “What would we do next sprint to double our velocity?” And no, simply doubling our estimated story points is not an acceptable answer.


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