A timeboxed meeting held at the end of an iteration, or at the end of a release, in which the team examines its processes to determine what succeeded and what could be improved. The retrospective is key to an Agile team’s ability to “inspect and adapt” in the pursuit of “continuous improvement.” The Agile retrospective differs from other methodologies’ “Lessons Learned” exercises, in that the goal is not to generate a comprehensive list of what went wrong. A positive outcome for a retrospective is to identify one or two high-priority action items the team wants to work on in the next iteration or release. The emphasis is on actionable items, not comprehensive analysis. Retrospectives may take many forms, but there is usually a facilitator, who may or may not be a member of the team, and the process is typically broken down into three phases: data gathering, data analysis, and action items.

Related links: Retrospective

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