An Agile Sprint Retrospective is a type of meeting that takes place during the development of a product by a team using the Agile development methodology. This meeting is called a Retrospective because the team spends this time discussing the work that has been done during the last Sprint. Though the meeting is called a Retrospective, the entire meeting is not spent discussing solely the past development. The team discusses the overall progress, and the specific challenges and pitfalls that have been encountered, and those that are expected to be encountered. The meeting facilitator is usually the Scrum Master, who is well suited to this role, because the main responsibility of him or her is to oversee meetings and development and enforce what rules there are. The Scrum Master will work to keep the Sprint Retrospective smooth and productive (Tiger et al., 2012).
Without Retrospectives, it would be easily possible for a team to continue down the wrong path of development, and not realize this until much later. This could result in a significant amount more work, depending on the size of the project. Therefore, the Sprint Retrospective exists, which allows teams to evaluate their progress and make decisions on which ideas need to be added, changed, or removed.
The above image portrays a common strategy for portraying team member ideas in a Sprint Retrospective. This strategy is to list and categorize events and items into three categories. These categories are: things that went well, things that need to be improved, and things that still need to be done (Taft, 2013). The actions that still need to be done are usually going to be new actions, things that might not necessarily be contained in the product backlog.
The above image is a graphical portrayal of a slightly different Sprint Retrospective strategy. This strategy is to list and categorize events, items, and features into five different categories. These are: things that should be stopped, things that should be kept, things that should be increased or have more added, ideas of things that should be started, and finally things that should be decreased but not eliminated entirely.
An Agile Sprint Retrospective is one of the more important aspects of an Agile development methodology. This is because some of the main benefits of Agile rely on the fact the the methodology is designed to enable the development team members to make changes in the design of the product, and the analysis of how it will be used. These Retrospectives help the team members to decide what needs to be modified, and what needs to be kept as is. This allows the main advantage of the Agile development methodology; The ability to go back to an earlier stage of the development and make changes without adversely affecting the entire project and necessitating time consuming jobs in reworking the product (Taft, 2013).
Taft, D. K. (2013). Developer Collaboration: 10 Tips to Make App Development More Efficient. Eweek, 5. http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=92950209&site=ehost-live
Tiger, D., & Hess, G. (2012). Agile Approach to Design Leads to Client and Job Satisfaction. T+D, 66(4), 108-109. http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=73887969&site=ehost-live
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