Scrum Agile Project Management

7 Best Practices for Facilitating Scrum Retrospectives

Improvement is one of the core principle of the Agile Manifesto that states “At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly”. Retrospectives are a powerful technique to achieve this goal in Scrum and in this blog post, Jonathan Berger proposes seven practices to facilitate retrospectives.

Facilitating a retrospective is not easy and this role is described as being a mix between a courthouse judge and a stenographer. Based on his experience, Jonathan Berger discusses some patterns that can make the difference between a good and a bad retrospective.

The seven principles are:
1. Explain and enforce format
2. Write everything down verbatim
3. Categorize carefully
4. Action items should have intent
5. Action items should be falsifiable
6. Action items need a single responsible party
7. What happens in the retrospective, stays in the retrospective

Each of the best practice for facilitating Scrum retrospectives is described in detail in the post. Jonathan Berger’s conclusion is that “these practices aren’t laws chiseled in stone; they’re hacks and ideas borne of observations of patterns and anti-patterns witnessed in many, many retros.”

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