top of page

What is a Retrospective?

A retrospective is a structured meeting or process that is used to reflect on a past experience, project, or event in order to learn from it and make improvements for the future.

Retrospectives are commonly used in Agile development methodologies, such as Scrum or Kanban, as a way for teams to review their work and identify areas for improvement. However, retrospectives can be used in any setting where reflection and continuous improvement are valued.

During a retrospective, team members come together to discuss what went well, what didn't go well, and what can be improved for the next iteration or project. The focus is on learning from the past experience and identifying specific actions or changes that can be made to improve future outcomes.

Retrospectives can take various formats, depending on the goals, context, and team preferences. They may include facilitated discussions, brainstorming sessions, individual or group reflections, and other interactive activities.

The benefits of retrospectives include improved communication, increased collaboration, greater accountability, and a culture of continuous improvement. By reflecting on past experiences and making improvements, teams can work more effectively and efficiently and achieve better results.

While the agenda for a retrospective can vary depending on the specific needs of the team and the context of the project, a common agenda for an Agile retrospective typically includes the following items:

  1. Setting the stage: This involves creating a safe and open environment for the retrospective and establishing the purpose and goals of the meeting.

  2. Gathering data: This step involves reviewing the previous sprint or iteration and gathering information on what went well, what didn't go well, and any issues or challenges that arose.

  3. Generating insights: In this step, the team analyzes the data and identifies themes or patterns that emerged during the sprint. This can involve group discussion and brainstorming.

  4. Deciding what to do: Based on the insights generated, the team identifies specific actions or changes that can be made to improve the next iteration or project.

  5. Closing the retrospective: This involves summarizing the actions identified, assigning ownership to each action item, and committing to making the necessary changes in the next sprint.

Some retrospectives may also include additional items, such as team-building exercises, individual reflections, or feedback on the retrospective process itself. The key is to create an agenda that allows for open communication, collaboration, and continuous improvement.


You want to learn more about how to do great retrospectives:

Not a member? Join us today!
Join us in our mission to create a world where everyone in our community can thrive at work. nuAgility offers its members access to a variety of resources, discounts on events, workshops, and services, as well as a supportive member community. By becoming a member, you can help us expand these resources and make them more accessible to others and, in turn, better our industry.
Anchor 1
bottom of page