Take some distance

Engine inspection


Structural improvement of the team’s way of working by regularly taking time to inspect and adapt and leveraging the wisdom of the entire team to more effectively deliver value to the customer.


On a regular basis, you take time to inspect and adapt your way of working. This ensures that you improve as a team. By doing this in a varied way, you stay sharp in creating more and more value for your customer.


In this short video, Jeff Sutherland explains why Scrum teams need to conduct regular retrospectives to help identify the issues that are hurting productivity — and fix them!

In this video Evolution4All explains how to use the Car Brand Retrospective exercise to activate the participants of your retrospective to actively participate.

In this video Evolution4All explains how to use the Starfish exercise for your retrospective.

To Work

To organize a retrospective meeting, follow the steps below:

  1. Have conversations with your team to identify the bottlenecks the team is currently experiencing. Pick one (together with the team) to investigate the upcoming retrospective meeting;
  2. Plan a time and location (preferably rehearsing every 2 to 4 weeks) and invite all involved (if necessary also from outside the team);
  3. Find a suitable, independent facilitator for this retrospective meeting. If you are involved yourself and/or have an interest in the outcome, it is good to ask a colleague from another team as a facilitator;
  4. Find or develop a structure or visualization to help the team collect data, discover structure in it and find solutions for the chosen bottleneck;
  5. In the meeting, go through the steps for a retrospective (Set the stage, Collect data, Generate insights, Prioritize next steps, Wrap up). This should result in one or a few improvement experiments for the coming period;
  6. Evaluate the retrospective meeting with the participants and include the learning points in the next meeting.

As a Scrum Master/Agile team leader you are fully involved in your team. It is a pity that you cannot participate in the Retrospective because you are too busy facilitating. You can of course arrange a facilitator, but the dialogue worksheets that you can download below allow you to put the organization of the Retrospective in the hands of your team. That’s self-organization! In addition you can participate and they are a nice change from the standard Retrospective method. Post the resulting completed dialogue sheet with the team after the session as a recording of the agreed improvement actions for the coming sprint.


The retrospective comes from Scrum, a lightweight framework to improve teamwork.

You find a description of Retrospectives in section 3.5 Keep On Learning in our book Connective Teamwork (EN, NL). The book helps you set your team in motion with a practical 5-step plan and 20 teamwork techniques. The techniques for conducting a Retrospective are described in more detail in section 6.1.

You can learn more about and practice these techniques in our Connective Team Coach Training Course.

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