6 Secrets to Run a Retrospective Successful – Brazil Scrum Gathering 2009

8 responses to “6 Secrets to Run a Retrospective Successful – Brazil Scrum Gathering 2009

  1. Derek Mahlitz

    On one of the slides it had a picture of who should be involved in the retrospective and the PO was crossed out. Why?
    I believe they need to be involved in the discussion since they are involved in the sprint on a daily basis and deserve input on making improvements.

  2. @Derek: I believe that the The Product Owner should get his or her input during the daily communication with the team. The Retrospective is focused on the team – the team should do the talking and ideally they should be able to do a retrospective by themselves. The ScrumMaster should (again, ideally) only attend the Retrospective to facilitate the process and ensure that nobody is i.e. being blamed and that the team are working together to improve whatever could be improved in the forthcoming sprints. If the team feels that i.e. story preparation is bad because of a ProductOwner who isn’t empowered to do his job by the organization that is a job for the ScrumMaster to sort out after the retrospective with the organization. If the PO himself is the problem for various reasons – that is a discussion which is better having without the ProductOwner present, I believe.

  3. Derek Mahlitz

    Sorry, I have to disagree. I believe the entire team (PO + dev team + SM) need to discuss openly what went well and what didn’t in the sprint. I find a lot of time the PO has a different view that the dev team just isn’t seeing or needs to hear. I don’t feel that you can push for the PO to interact more closely with the dev team then say you can’t participate in the opportunity to improve.

  4. @Derek: My experience tells me that team discussion during a retrospective mainly focuses on people issues or technical debt. Technical debts identified are placed as stories on the team backlog and the discussion about those stories isn’t very rewarding to listen to for a PO. The people issue thing is where I can sense you believe that a PO brings value to a team discussion… I have bias towards keeping the PO away from a discussion about the PO if it turns out during the retrospective that there are issues with the PO that the team needs to talk about. One single team member might not click very well with a PO while the other members of the team do – I wouldn’t want to overhear that kind of a discussion if I were the PO in the line of fire – and as much as I do believe that having such discussions can provide a lot of value when done right I also believe that they would never be held if the person being talked about was present in the room. Nobody likes to hurt a collegue’s feelings unnecessary. In order to ensure that the outcome of a retrospective is constructive I would never allow the PO into a retrospective.

  5. Boris, thanks for sharing your slides with us. I was in your presentation in Brazil and I think your material is pretty helpfull.

  6. Pingback: Brazil Scrum Gathering 2009 « Bardusco’s Blog

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