Re: Should the team be allowed to drop the retrospective?

Few minutes ago, I saw @mShady, my dear friend (Real life friend, not just on twitter) tweeting:

RT @ASGEgypt: RT @scrum_coach: Should the team be allowed to drop the retrospective? #scrum #agile #lean #xp #kanban

I checked the post and found the options are:

  1. Yes, It’s their process why not?
  2. No, explain to them and work through why the retrospective is so important.
  3. Maybe, if they are no longer a team then why continue with Scrum?
  4. Only do retrospectives once a quarter and build up a good list of things to change.
  5. Yes, the process will take care of itself we don’t need to watch it that closely. After all it’s common sense!

Interesting question! Not the most important topic in Scrum but like the way Agile works in general, if you play with it wrong, it is an indicator you have something else wrong as well before that, so, it gives you an alert.

See the rest of the blog post. I find the options my main interest, and wanted to share with you here how I answered this question:

I’d say have a really short one if the team members have been working together for sometime it can go really quick (an hour or so) just before the planning for the next sprint. We used to do so in a previous company and it was pretty successful.
It was like it’s one meeting divided into 2, one hour or so for previous sprint retrospective, and probably rest of the day (or most of it) for the planning for next sprint.

If they cannot have a quick meeting like this quickly then something else is wrong and they need to work on their team skills. Time boxing would be one option: The meeting will be needed “more” if they do not communicate well, Time box it to 2 hours or so and make it clear and strict since beginning, and consider investigating (assuming you are scrum master or team leader) what other issues the team may be suffering from.

However, I find myself going with (1) and (5) at the same time, “it’s their process” and “After all it’s common sense!”.

What do you think??

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