Sprint Retrospective Meeting Guide: Ideas and Examples

A Sprint Retrospective is a meeting held at the end of a Sprint to discuss what was done right and what can be improved. Retros provide an opportunity for a Scrum Team to create a plan for their workflow improvements.

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Retrospective means to take a look back at events that already have taken place. In Scrum Framework, there a concept of a Sprint Retrospective meeting.

Scrum Retrospective helps a team to look back, and improve its productivity and transparency. As a result, the Scrum team comes up with a plan of improvements for a next Sprint.

A Sprint Retrospective meeting is run after Sprint Review and before the next Sprint Planning. Scrum Master makes sure that the team understands its purpose and holds a retro meeting on schedule.


I. Sprint Retrospective Questions and Agenda

To run an effective retrospective, you need to decide who’s the moderator and then get together with the whole Scrum Team. But before doing so, you need to prepare your team for a meeting.

One of the issues with scrum retrospective meetings is that people tend to forget things. So there is no guarantee your team will remember all the iteam they wanted to discuss. Here’s the way how to gather sprint retrospective agenda during the sprint.

Instead of relentlessly remembering all the things at the end of the Sprint, you can consistently collect team feedback via Slack. You set it up once, and the process is up and running.


Sprint retrospective questions via Slack
step #1

Sprint retrospective questions via Slack

Set up a schedule, select people from your Agile team and questions to ask them for the upcoming retrospective. It will help a team asynchronously collect all the items they need to discuss during retrospective meeting.
Standuply gathers a sprint retrospective agenda
step #2

Standuply gathers a sprint retrospective agenda

On schedule, Standuply reaches out to selected people and surveys them via Slack. Once team members provide their inputs the bot aggregates them to serve overall report with survey's results.
Run A sprint retrospective effectively
step #3

Run A sprint retrospective effectively

Now having all the items for a discussion your retrospectives take less time and are straight to the point. Talk with a team about sprint retospective agenda and find the ways to resolve all the items.


II. Alternative Sprint Retrospective Format

When your team is remote, sometimes it's hard to get together on a call. In that case, you can replace your retrospective meetings with asynchronous ones via video answers delivered to Slack. But if you prefer calls, Standuply got you covered as well.

Standuply can record retrospective feedback from team members during the sprint and then send it directly to Scrum Master or PM via DM to be discussed on the “live” retrospective meeting at the end of an iteration.

Teams using Standuply set up the bot to ask retro questions once a week and then bring all the notes to the retrospective meeting. It saves their time and provide structure to their offline meetings.


Pick a schedule and configure retrospective questions
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step #1

Pick a schedule and configure retrospective questions

In this scenario you'd like to run a report once a week after each sprint. Select "Retrospective template" in Standuply to run a classic retrospective.
Standuply collects retro meeting answers via text, video or voice
2
step #2

Standuply collects retro meeting answers via text, video or voice

On schedule, Standuply reaches out to selected people and surveys them in Slack. They can record video or audio message up to 5 minutes in a browser via a private link from the Slack bot.

Results can be delivered to a Slack channel or via DM, email or Webhook. A recorded message is uploaded to Standuply and the link is shared in Slack.
The retrospective meeting inside Slack
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step #3

The retrospective meeting inside Slack

This way you can have your retro meeting inside Slack without a need to get together on a call. It's also convinient because you have all the data saved in Slack and in Standuply.
Automate retrospective video calls
4
Bonus step

Automate retrospective video calls

Standuply can automatically start a video call by sending a link to everyone in Slack to join a call at the time you need. It can be handy if you still have some things to discuss during your sprint retrospective meeting.


III. Poll Your Team in Slack via /poll-standuply Command

When you’re on a retro meeting, run voting to choose most popular items for a discussion. Your task is to continue doing what works and get rid of the rest.

Remember not to start discussing the items but just fixing them. A voting can be run openly and anonymously, it’s up to the team’s mood.

Using a polling app helps here a lot. If your team uses Slack, here's the way how to do that with Standuply.


Run /poll-standuply command in Slack
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step #1

Run /poll-standuply command in Slack

Use /poll command in a Slack channel where you want to run a poll for your agile retrospective meeting.
Set up a retrospective poll and answer options
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step #2

Set up a retrospective poll and answer options

A window will pop up to configure poll options: a question and answers to choose from. Put the retro items to discuss as the answer's options.
See results in a real time
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step #3

See results in a real time

All channel members will see the poll and can participate. Results are updated in the real time after every vote. This way you save time on running a scrum retrospective meeting.

IV. Sprint Retrospective Tools

Here's the list of tools that will help you run better retrospectives.

Standuply is a Slack bot to automate your Agile meetings on Slack. Retrium lets you run powerful retrospective techniques, like Mad Sad Glad and Start-Stop Continue. Fun Retrospectives provides the ways to make retro meetings more fun.

You can find more tools in the Distributed Retrospectives Wiki.


A common mistake is not to fix meeting notes and assigning tasks verbally. Don’t fall into this trap as you won’t be able to look back and track retro meetings’ efficiency over time.

Fix the results of the retrospective meeting in meeting minutes or in a task tracker adding relevant tasks. Then share the results with all participants.

Teams using Standuply set up the bot to ask retro questions once a week and then bring all the notes to the retrospective meeting. It saves their time and provide structure to their offline meetings.

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