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Retrospective: The Fun Way

23 December 2013

Sudha Sivakumar
Altisource Business Solutions

Retrospection is the most valuable and most important Scrum ceremony. It is an improvement meeting, during which the team looks back on what went wrong and discusses how to make sure the issues that impeded them from reaching their goals do not recur during the subsequent sprints.

Unfortunately, the retrospective is often neglected, and it can become a monotonous and boring ceremony. However, retrospectives can be made enjoyable and can be conducted in a fun way. To keep up the interest and participation of the team, I recently used the Sailboat Retrospective as suggested in one of the blogs by Mark Summers.

And wow!! The result of the retrospection was incredible.
  • Healthy and actionable comments from the team
  • Comments targeted toward improvement of the sprints
  • Free thinking and idea sharing by the team
  • Energetic participation from the team
  • Effective and actionable inputs

Sailboat retrospective

The team had an innovative suggestion for the next retrospection.

Race Car Retrospective

This image is a representation and does not carry any actual data. I suggest researching and experimenting with different approaches (these and others) to retrospectives and sharing your findings.

Opinions represent those of the author and not of Scrum Alliance. The sharing of member-contributed content on this site does not imply endorsement of specific Scrum methods or practices beyond those taught by Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers and Coaches.

Article Rating

Current rating: 4 (4 ratings)


Anonymous, 12/23/2013 8:13:23 AM
Interesting article.... Creativity is a neccessity in agile team to bring the involvement in the scrum ceremonies.
Bob Jiang, CST,CSP,CSM,CSPO,REP, 12/23/2013 7:08:29 PM
Very interesting, Sudha. Fun is key point in Agile/Scrum. I translate your article to Chinese, is it ok?
Sudha Sivakumar, CSP,CSM,CSPO, 12/23/2013 10:23:08 PM
Thanks Bob for the comment and also the translation to chinese
Glen Wang, CSM, 12/24/2013 1:52:58 AM
Scrum Master him/herself is a boat which carries the team going well with Scrum.
Gurpreet Singh, CSP,CSM,CSPO, 12/24/2013 7:49:14 AM
Very nice Sudha!
Cristian Todor, CSM, 12/25/2013 9:13:30 AM
Just an idea... does any of you have experience with allocating a small part of the retrospective to actually underlining which of the impediments listed the previous retrospective have actually been solved? Something like an improvement section on the team wall?
Bob Jiang, CST,CSP,CSM,CSPO,REP, 12/25/2013 6:42:04 PM
Hi Cristian, do you mean Retrospective for retrospective?
Sudha Sivakumar, CSP,CSM,CSPO, 12/26/2013 1:21:37 AM
Hi Cristian,

We capture the retrospective comments in a tracker with planned days for resolution, actual days taken to resolve, schedule variance and also the action owner for the comment. This is visited each retrospective and gives an idea of created vs. resolved. Hope this answers
Anonymous, 12/29/2013 12:50:52 PM
Nice article, Sudha.
Veronica Eloff, CSM, 1/16/2014 4:43:53 PM
I like the boat idea... - wind in our sails (positive), where did we have to drop anchor (blockages), when did we have to course correct and why (changes) and best of all - our destination - was it as beautiful as we hoped ;) (Done)
Ruud Rietveld, CSM, 1/17/2014 2:18:45 AM
As an extra for the sailboat, you could also draw rocks or an iceberg, as a metaphor for the risks that people see. Use your creativity to think up something analogues for the racecar.
Sanjay Nipane, CSM, 1/21/2014 4:07:49 AM
I liked it.
Imran Jamadar, CSM, 2/23/2014 11:18:55 AM
Imran Jamadar, CSM, 2/23/2014 6:27:54 PM
Gayathri Narayanan, CSM, 2/24/2014 5:21:20 AM
I liked it too.
Ramanathan Yegyanarayanan, CSP,CSM,CSPO, 9/26/2017 5:19:51 AM
Nice Thoughts about gamification of retrospectives

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