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Tips on How To Maximize Improvement At Your Next Virtual Sprint Retrospective

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Retrospective meetings conducted after development teams wrap up sprints can enable members to find ways to work together more efficiently and effectively. Here are a few tips to help Scrum Masters and project managers maximize the impact of opportunities for reflection and resolve, ranging from technical tips on how to add virtual background in Teams to guidance regarding activities and ground to cover during sprint retrospectives.

Open Trusting Conversation

Being frank about what went well and what could have gone better during the previous sprint is crucial in a retrospective. As the goal of Scrum product management is continuous, iterative improvement, holding retrospective meetings at regular intervals in the development cycle can be crucial to improving practices over iterations.

Retrospectives may be of limited use if team members do not know each other well enough to be honest with one another. Dev teams that cultivate open lines of communication across daily scrums, weekly meetings and retrospectives are more likely to work together productively and build better products.

Team Building Activities

A few activities to do during a sprint retrospective direct the attention of team members toward people, relationships, tools and processes. Assessing each of these areas can encourage all members to identify and order aspects of the development process that went well or did not go well and brainstorm ways to improve. Teams should also focus on what members learned during the sprint to optimize product development or workflows.

Planning for the next sprint can also be integrated into activities for teams. Improving work processes to increase product quality or adapting the definition of “done” for a product are two overarching goals for activities undertaken during retrospectives. Distributed dev teams that meet virtually can build stronger teams by first ensuring that members can either satisfy or work around Zoom virtual background requirements and consider gathering teams together in Scenes for Zoom Immersive View.

Dev Team Reports

Reports from dev team members can be structured based on the goals of the sprint retrospective. For some retrospectives, it may be preferable to have each team member use a custom Zoom background to appear professional in a branded virtual office setting. For more pivotal or long-term retrospectives, up to 25 team members and stakeholders can come together in a Scene for Immersive View in Zoom version 5.6.3 or later.

In general, the length of a sprint retrospective will be based on the duration of the recent sprint and the number of members who need to report during a given session. A one-week sprint retrospective may take an hour or less, while a retrospective for a month-long sprint can go on as long as three hours.

A sprint retrospective can be a good opportunity for team leaders and members to reflect on a completed sprint in ways that go beyond the day-to-day concerns covered during Daily Scrums and issues addressed in weekly backlog grooming sessions. Scrum Masters and project managers that promote focus, team-building and coverage during these meetings are better able to optimize workflows across iterations.

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