Retrospectives will never be as spectacular as a Hollywood blockbuster, BUT they can be livened up.
The sprint retrospective is the equivalent of a post-mortem, allowing the team to analyze the past sprint and discuss how to improve the process.
A sprint retrospective is different than a sprint review because the crew talks about the goal for the next sprint. Both are essential steps for a team to improve.
This blog will look at the two techniques and compare and contrast the two.
Even though sprint review and sprint retrospective are sometimes confused, they are two different scrum events.
When the necessary methods for practical cooperation and growth are lacking, even the world’s most brilliant people can become engulfed in the turmoil of endless, pointless meetings.
Where time zones and home distractions significantly influence how engaged people are in discussions, the risk multiplies enormously.
Sprint reviews and retrospectives are two meetings where dozing by your team is not an option.
With so many agile teams now working remotely, this blog aims to ensure that your remote sprint reviews and remote retrospectives are unique from one another, effective, and time well spent.
It also assists you in overcoming some of the usual issues when conducting remote retrospectives and sprint reviews.
Now that you have been given a brief introduction to our blog let’s further elaborate and learn more about the same.
Read and follow along!
Megan Cook, a Group Product Manager, once said, “A product is created using scrum through a series of sprints that break down large, complex projects into manageable chunks.”
So, What Exactly Are These Sprints?
A sprint is a timed period when a scrum team works to finish specific amounts of work.
Scrum and agile approaches are built around sprints, and getting sprints right can help your agile team release better products with fewer issues.
A sprint is a period (e.g., 14 days) during which an agreed-upon set of development activities is completed.
Short, frequent bursts of development and iterative product releases are central to the agile process.
Unlike typical product development, which builds more significant parts of functionality at a time, release cycles can last for months and don’t ship until everything is finished.
An agile sprint planning meeting takes place before each sprint, and the agile team will agree on sprint goals.
Sprint objectives are usually quantifiable.
A sprint’s contents are rarely changed after teams have defined it. An item may become too huge or difficult to accomplish.
Similarly, there may be room for more information. However, the sprint target remains constant.
What Is a Sprint Review?
According to the scrum product management framework, a sprint comprises four events: sprint planning, daily standup, sprint review, and sprint retrospective. For a successful sprint, all four are equally vital.
The group conducts a product demonstration and determines what they have completed and what is still in the pipelines.
The sprint review meeting aims for the team to show customers and stakeholders the work they’ve done over the sprint and compare it to the commitment made at the start of the sprint.
In other words, a sprint review is a scrum event that occurs at the end of the sprint, right before the retrospective.
The assessment aims to assess the most recent features and consider the product’s plans.
It’s vital to remember that sprint reviews aren’t the same as retrospectives.
A sprint review is an opportunity to showcase the team’s efforts, including designers, developers, and the product owner.
Some keep their sprint reviews lighthearted. Team members gather around a desk for informal demos and describe their work for that iteration.
It’s an excellent opportunity to ask questions, try out new features, and provide feedback.
Sharing success is a crucial component of forming an agile team.
Per Contra, What Is a Sprint Retrospective?
After the sprint review and before the following sprint planning, the sprint retrospective takes place.
For one-month sprints, there is a maximum of a three-hour meeting.
The retrospective session is essentially an “improvement” meeting meant to discover possible dangers, past mistakes, and new approaches to avoid those problems.
In other words, a sprint retrospective is a recurrent meeting at the end of a sprint cycle that assesses what went well and what you can improve for the following sprint cycle.
The scrum paradigm for designing, delivering, and managing complex projects includes an agile sprint retrospective.
A sprint retrospective meeting happens to determine which activities and “things” the team is doing well, which they must continue, and what “extra” they can do to make the next sprint more pleasurable and productive.
In retrospective sessions, the “inspect” and “adapt” ideas are critical for making a sprint more fun or practical.
The Difference Between Sprint Review and Retrospective
One of the most frequently asked questions during scrum training and coaching is the difference between a sprint review and sprint retrospective?
A sprint review meeting’s primary focus is on a working product increment provided during the sprint and, as a result, the updating of a product backlog.
In other words, the sprint review is concerned with WHAT the team was able to accomplish.
The primary focus of a retrospective meeting is on a team and its performance.
Therefore, retrospective conversations frequently stray from the scope of a product and instead focus on HOW the team was able to finish the work.
Even though sprint review and sprint retrospective are sometimes confused, they are two different scrum events.
Here’s a little more about the two meetings and their differences.
There are two significant distinctions between sprint evaluations and sprint retrospectives.
Sprint reviews include demonstrations: The scrum team can highlight its achievements while allowing stakeholders to check and comment on the increment.
Teams can successfully update the product backlog as a result of this.
You can include games in sprint retrospectives: Sprint reviews follow the same format as a standard scrum meeting. Sprint retrospectives are less formal and more enjoyable. This encourages involvement and keeps the scrum atmosphere positive.
This article will go through the distinctions between the two categories in terms of the following features:
- Things to keep in mind during each meeting
- Examples to help you understand better
The Following Is the Agenda for a Successful Sprint Review Meeting
New features, sprint impediments, and an assessment of whether teams met the sprint goal should all be on the agenda for a successful sprint review meeting.
Sprint reviews are usually two to four hours long. They include a product demonstration in which a working version of the most recent increment is presented and reviewed.
Scrum masters enable sprint reviews and ensure that everyone addresses all concerns.
The sprint meeting’s purpose is to inspect the product increment and adapt the product backlog.
1. Welcome everyone to the meeting
Introduce everyone to the review and, if desired, perform an icebreaker together.
2. Stakeholder introductions
Ensure a short introduction for all meeting participants so the team knows who is there and why.
3. Review the schedule
The product owner/scrum master presents the meeting’s agenda.
4. Verify the product increases
The development teams demonstrate what they could accomplish and may even show the product.
5. Customer feedback
Everyone in the meeting discusses what went well or wrong and how they can improve the product or the ‘shipped’ process.
6. Showcase the backlog
Whatever the team wasn’t able to do and the team’s commitment to improvement is documented to inform the following sprint planning process.
A more fundamental and precise formulation would be:
- Participants are welcomed
- Sprint review schedule
- Share the sprint target and forecast
- Demonstrations of the product increment
- Feedback gathering
- Presentation of product backlog
The review meeting usually lasts 4 hours for a month-long sprint, and the review is shorter than a shorter Sprint. The product owner is in charge of it.
Schedule for a Sprint Retrospective:
1. Introduce yourself
Create psychological safety by increasing awareness of teammates’ circumstances.
2. Reflect using a retrospective template. Anonymously share what worked and didn’t work for you.
3. Review the team’s reflections and organize them into themes.
Each team member chooses two or three critical items to discuss.
Examine which themes received the most votes, discuss them, and plan how to improve in the next sprint.
Each team member should aim to answer the following sprint retrospective questions in an extraordinary sprint retrospective meeting:
- During the sprint, what went well?
- Is there anything you think could be better?
- What steps can we take to make those improvements?
What Should You Look For During a Sprint Review Meeting?
- Increase in product
- Product backlog currently
- Budgets and the sprint flow timeline
- Market circumstances
- Steps to maximizing the product’s worth
What Should You Look For During a Sprint Retrospective Meeting?
- Retrospective promises made previously.
- In terms of teamwork and relationships, people.
- In this sprint, we used the following processes and techniques.
- DONE is defined as…
Example of Sprint Review Meeting
A mobile phone manufacturer launched its first brand on the market. Customers loved it, so there was a lot of impulsive buying.
The organization then conducted a sprint review meeting with stakeholders, developers, managers, and customers to discuss the mobile phone adjustments they wished to make.
Customers provided feedback on the phones, stating they were okay but required more storage capacity and functionality.
The conference’s primary purpose was to inspect and modify the phone increment.
The development team and the product owner discussed the completed and uncompleted product backlog items in the sprint (cell phone) (the additional features and storage space).
Following the sprint meeting, the developers spent a significant amount of time on the phone creating extra features to suit the customer’s preferences (this is the review process).
The development team showcased their accomplishment during the next sprint meeting. They had boosted the phone’s storage capacity and incorporated new functions.
The team gave the stakeholders the phone with the most recent updates they had made in the previous sprint.
After that, the stakeholders evaluated the new features and provided feedback.
Feedback is critical in any project, as demonstrated in this example.
The product owner uses the feedback to improve the product’s quality, allowing them to stay ahead of the competition.
The feedback also provides a framework for future sprint planning for the team.
Sprint Retrospective Examples
For example, the previous sprint was spent completing the user interface design if you’re developing an app.
Perhaps you believe it is unnecessarily complicated and consumes far too much RAM.
Is there a way to make things easier?
There could be fewer steps for a user to complete. This is something that you can apply to the following sprint.
The construction of a retail website is another example of a sprint retrospective. The team added the site’s photos during the latest sprint.
However, the font does not correctly wrap around such images.
The team devised a solution to minimize the size of the photographs while maintaining legibility.
These are incredibly simplified examples, but they demonstrate how the sprint retrospective works.
It consists of reviewing previous work, a brainstorming session on what could be improved, and a strategy for implementing those ideas in the following sprint.
We can’t just stop now that we know the differences; it’s also significant to call out the similarities.
Sprint reviews and retrospectives are similar in that they both focus on improvement and finish at the end of a sprint.
Both meetings reflect on what has been accomplished and consider how you can improve the work.
The goal of reviews and retrospectives is to make small but persistent changes.
Furthermore, team leaders specially schedule them at the end of the sprint so everyone’s memories remain fresh.
As a result, neither offers much planning time because doing so would detract from the team’s potential to meet the sprint goal.
Severe issues, problems, or failures will surface during some reviews and retrospectives. As a result, these meetings must focus solely on resolving and discussing concerns rather than assigning blame.
In summary, sprint review and retrospectives are two core activities in an agile development process, which help improve the team’s performance and overall product through practical improvements.
It is difficult to point out whether retrospective or sprint review is more important—both are equally important.
However, the two processes differ in many aspects, like duration, stakeholders involved, and so on.
You must consider regular activities like sprint reviews and retrospectives if you plan to adopt agile development practices. This is because they provide value in any phase of the development process.
Considering all these differences, if we have to choose between the two, it will be challenging to choose as both are equally important.