Inneficient Sprint Retrospective Reports



  • Does anyone know references in literature that explore the issue of inefficient Sprint Retrospectives? I think that almost everyone had already experienced it, but I can´t find reports of experiences in literature regarding that.



  • I'm not aware of any reports or research on this. But doing many retrospectives over the years I've recognized smells or antipatterns that cause retrospectives to become ineffective.

    A retrospective smell is a signal that something might be going wrong in your retrospective. It’s a warning that problems might happen that will impact the retrospective result. An anti-pattern describes the behavior that most likely follows if the smell is not properly recognized or dealt with.

    For example Recurring Actions is a smell when the same actions keep coming back. When you are the one who usually facilitates the retrospective (as the team’s Scrum master or as an external facilitator) then you will probably see the pattern of repeating actions in consecutive retrospectives.Often the deeper problem behind recurring actions is that somehow actions don’t get done or aren’t effective.

    Some of the things that you can do to deal with this are:

    Do a Root Cause Analysis to find out why the team can’t get actions done or why actions aren’t effective.

    If actions often aren’t picked up after the retrospective meeting, then ask the team before ending the meeting who will be doing the actions.

    Ask people to pair up and two persons take care of an action.

    Monitor actions after the retrospective, for instance during a daily stand-up or any other occasion when the team meets.

    Limit the number of actions that come out of the retrospective. Focus on the vital few actions.

    I wrote a series of articles on retrospectives smell and dealing with them: https://www.benlinders.com/2018/retrospective-smells/

    Does this help you?



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