In Scrum, the Sprint Retrospective is an opportunity for the Scrum Team to inspect itself and create a plan for improvements to be enacted during the next Sprint.

The purpose of the Sprint Retrospective is to:

  • Inspect how the last Sprint went with regards to people, relationships, process, and tools
  • Identify and order the major items that went well and potential improvements
  • Create a plan for implementing improvements to the way the Scrum Team does its work.

 This is from Scrum, but any team can use the retrospective meeting to continuously inspect and adapt and look for improvements. Below is the guide for a good retrospective meeting.



  1. Set the stage
  • Opening the meeting with positive statements
  • Welcome attendees
  • Reiterate the meeting objectives
  • Explain how the meeting take place
  • Set up meeting rules such as time-box, consensus rules
  • Make sure everything happens in the meeting stays in the meeting
  1. Quickly go through the commitments from the previous meeting
  • Read through the commitments and ask if they have been completed
  • For unfinished work, simply ask for current progress, obstacles if any.
  1. Gather data & generate insights
  • Use different retrospective themes to collect the data
  • Just focus on the facts, problems, NOT solution
  • Provide clear explanation on facts or problems
  • Group similar facts or problems
  • Prioritize the facts or problems
  1. Analysis root causes & decide what to do
  • Start with the most important thing
  • Generate & agree on the root causes of the problem
  • Decide what to do (i.e. solutions, action points)
  • Team members assign APs themselves
  1. Summarize and close the meeting
  • Read through meeting outcomes
  • Get commitment from team members on the APs
  • Get feedback about the retrospective meeting
  • Close the meeting



  1. How is the Product Owner doing?
  • Is the Product Backlog in shape?
  • Are we progress toward Product Goal?
  • How is he/she managing the stakeholders?
  • Does he/she communicate frequently with Developers
  • Does the Product Owner disrupt the Sprint with unexpected changes?
  1.     How are developers doing?
  • Are we working together? i.e. teamwork, collaboration
  • Is there conflict in the team, do we resolve that?
  • Is the team making decisions?
  • Do we commit our agreements?
  • Why are the Sprint Goals not achieved?
  • Do we respect Scrum Values?
  1.     How are our engineering practices doing?
  • Is the team caring and improving them?
  • How is the test automation?
  • Is the team expanding their Definition of Done?
  1.     How is my organization doing?
  • Is there inter-team coordination?
  • What organizational impediments are in the way?



  • Preparation

Give the team time to think about the what happened in the last sprint. Perhaps remind them early in the day during stand up to think about what they want to discuss during the retrospective.

  • Make sure everyone participates

Some team members are naturally more active than others, the scrum master should try to involve everyone in the discussion.

  • Always come out with action points

A retrospective is only as good as its outcome. Make sure the team comes out with action points on how to improve in the next sprints.

  • Acknowledgement and appreciation 

Do not forget to take some time to acknowledge and appreciate team member or event that went well. It is important to boast the team morale.

  • Use different retrospective theme (tool to collect data)

There are different retrospective techniques that some are very simple like “Proud and Worries”, “Lean Coffee”, or others are slightly “heavier” such as the classic, the starfish, the sailboat. Each technique may be good for a certain stage of a Team, just try to make something new to avoid boring.

  • Use the right tools 

When the team is collocated, the good old post it and board is sufficient to do the job. However, a retrospective can also be done with a remote team. Use whatever tool necessary such as,,,, Miro, Mira, etc…

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About Khiem Huynh
About Khiem Huynh

Khiêm có hơn 13 năm thực hành Agile Scrum, là một chuyên gia Scrum đã sở hữu chứng chỉ PSM III. Là Agile Coach có nhiều năm kinh nghiệm làm việc toàn thời gian cho các công ty và tập đoàn đa quốc gia ở các lĩnh vực khác nhau, Khiêm có sự linh hoạt trong cách tiếp cận để phù hợp với đặc thù từng nhóm dự án, môi trường kinh doanh và văn hóa của tổ chức.