#31 – Retrospective
According to the Scrum Guide, the Sprint Retrospective is where the team inspects itself and creates a plan for how to improve in the next sprint. So, where the Sprint Review is for inspecting the Increment (the ‘done’ PBIs), the Retrospective is for improving the way the team works in order to deliver the work.
In order to have useful Retrospectives, there must be trust between the team members, so they can live up to the Scrum values of openness and respect. This trust is built over time between the members of the Scrum team, and the Retrospective is a venue where this trust leads to the team members expressing themselves freely in order to improve the team.
Therefore, if people external to the team (especially, managers) wish to participate, we as Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches need 1) understand why this person wants to participate and 2) bring the suggestion to the team, so they can take the decision. One risk of having external stakeholders at Retrospectives is that the focus can change from inspecting the team process into focusing on refining the work to be delivered. So, unless there are some hidden advantages to the outcome of the session of having external people participate, avoid it. It’s the team’s session.