Improving Without Sprint Retrospectives 🎥

Thinking out loud about what continuous improvement really means in agile.

The Agile Manifesto says: “At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.”

So we know that in Scrum regular interval for that is Sprint Retrospective (my favourite Sprint event, of course).

However, I was once asked if we need to wait until the retrospective to suggest and implement improvements. Interestingly enough, back then I thought we actually do have to wait until the retro so that we don’t lose our focus.

Times change. Now I believe when we talk about agile continuous improvement, we should put our effort into “continuous” first – never stop looking for better ways to do things.

That’s why in this short video I discuss how to create positive habits within your team to foster the team’s ability to reflect and adapt daily.

Watch the video to know how you can use visual tools (of course!) to help your team not only track their action items from their last retrospective but also suggest more ways to improve during the sprint itself.

If you are interested in getting your sprint retrospectives more productive and fun, see how Retrospective Poker can help you.

Visualization is an important part of Scrum, that is why I often use various tools to make progress towards goals more transparent. I have also found that visualizing information helps teams learn complex concept more easily. You can use visualization to facilitate learning and increase transparency.

Looking for ideas to facilitate learning with visual information?

There’s a poster for that. Some posters are now available in our store! Others you can download for free.

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About The Author

Hi, my name is Daria Bagina. I’m a Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org and a practicing Scrum Master. I help teams and organizations to get the most out of the Scrum and Agile implementation by sharing my personal stories and practical advice.

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4 Responses

  1. Hi Daria,
    Thanks for your meaningful thoughts and support. I really enjoy your videos and valuable recommendations. I would love to explore Retrospective Poker cards if you would have them in Digital format.

  2. Hi Genna,
    It’s great to see that the content on this website is bringing value!
    Currently, I do not plan to add a digital format for the Retrospective Poker. However, if you buy the digital version of the book Retrospectives: A Scrum Master’s Guide, you’ll have the information about all 20 techniques that are covered in the cards as well. You can check the website shop for the book.

  3. Hi Daria,
    Thanks for your recommendations. They are useful for all of us. I agree that we shouldn’t wait until the retro to improve perhaps a process, tool, or whatever it is. It should be on a daily routine basis. But I have one concern, I think the retro meeting was established at the end of the sprint with the aim to formally reserved this time for the team because in my experience most of the time the people say that they don’t have time to participate in this meeting or they don’t value it.
    I think when someone has a new idea to improve our process it is very important to discuss the idea with the team and agree on an actionable plan to achieve the improvement. So, if we have some idea during the sprint, when do you recommend bringing it up in order to review it? Would be it in the daily meeting? or another kind of meeting? What do you suggest? Thanks.

  4. Hi Patricio, thank you for the question. I believe sometimes you don’t have to have a separate meeting for this. Keep the conversation open. For example, if there is an idea coming from someone on the team that is easy to implement, why not just quickly discuss it with the team and potentially try it out right away?
    Retrospective is still there for us to inspect and adapt how we work, Daily Scrum is there for the Developers to review their progress towards goals, Sprint Review and Planning. Those are formal times for us to come together, however, we still need to communicate on the regular outside of those meetings.