Retrospective Cheat Sheet

By: Agile Velocity | Sep 26, 2017 |  Article,  ScrumMaster

Review the past and look to the future in RetrospectivesRetrospective Purpose

The Retrospective is held at the end of each sprint in order to evaluate the previous sprint and discuss what worked well and what areas the team could improve upon. The team should identify one or two areas to work on in the next sprint.



  1. ScrumMaster sets the stage for the retrospective
    1. Give attendees context for the retrospective
    2. Ask a brief check-in question to get everyone talking at the beginning. When attendees don’t speak at the very beginning of the retrospective, they are less likely to participate throughout the meeting.
  2. ScrumMaster reviews action items from current sprint and has Team evaluate their progress on them
  3. ScrumMaster leads Team through exercise to gather data from the events of the last sprint
    1. What worked well?
    2. What needs improvement?
  4. ScrumMaster and Team generate insights based on the data gathered
    1. What are possible solutions for identified improvements needed that the team might try?
  5. Team decides what actions to take
    1. Vote on 1-2 improvements that will have biggest impact
    2. Brainstorm how to implement these improvements
  6. ScrumMaster closes the retrospective
    1. Document action items and make a plan for following up

ScrumMaster Responsibilities

  • Facilitate and participate in the meeting. (This can be a challenge; ScrumMaster should share their input, but should not dominate the conversation.)
  • Document action items and post so Team is aware of them
  • Distribute notes from retrospective to members of the Team

Product Owner Responsibilities

  • Attend and participate

Delivery Team Responsibilities

  • Attend and participate
  • Commit to working on/addressing the action items in the next sprint


  • Meeting is held on last day of sprint and is scheduled for 90 minutes for a two-week sprint
  • To reduce the blame game, it’s good to start with a reminder of the Agile Prime Directive: “Regardless of what we discover, we understand and truly believe that everyone did the best job they could, given what they knew at the time, their skills and abilities, the resources available, and the situation at hand.”
  • Try different activities and exercises each time to keep the meeting fresh
  • Managers and stakeholders should not attend, but can be informed of the learnings and action items afterwards


These are patterns or behaviors that lead to inefficient or ineffective meetings. They should be addressed whenever found.

  • ScrumMaster is making all the suggestions for action items
  • Conversation during the retrospective does not involve all team members


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