Action Engineering Agile Mindset: Retrospectives

The Action Engineering team embraces an Agile mindset & Scrum practices in our work.
This series shares tips & coaching opportunities that work well for us.

No matter how awesome a team is, there is always opportunity to improve. Although a good Scrum team will be constantly looking for improvement opportunities, the team should set aside a brief, dedicated period at the end of each sprint to deliberately reflect on how they are doing and find ways to improve. The simplest way to achieve this is with a simple start-stop-continue meeting, otherwise known as a retrospective.


The retrospective is used to discuss negatives & positives as a team and come to a joint decision on what changes to bring into the next sprint. It is not intended to be a time to point fingers or lay blame. Whatever happens in a Retro, stays in the Retro…except for the action items – those we need to actually work on!

There are dozens of resources online that guide you through different tips and tricks for retrospectives, but we wanted to boil it down to the basics. The following are the four key elements of a quality retrospective:

  • Break the Ice
    • Be sure to review the goals of the conversation and create an environment where participants feel comfortable being honest and open.
    • Start with an activity such as “One Word” or “Weather Forecasting” to break the ice and get conversations rolling.
  • Gather Data
    • Do an activity that allows the team members to think about what went well, what could be improved, and what should be done differently.
    • Encourage all team members to participate to see a wide perspective and share their own.
  • Generate Insight
    • Take the data that was generated in the last step and try to understand the root cause as a team.
    • Try to build connections between the data and see the big picture.
  • Take Action
    • Have the team select one or two action items that will improve the way they work.
    • Assign a specific owner for each action item and track the action through the next sprint.

Want to chat with us about how your team is practicing Agile in your MBE journey?
Send us a message!

Emily Cosgrove, Agile Team Lead


Agile Team Lead
Certified ScrumMaster®


Kate Hubbard, CMO


Chief Marketing Officer
Certified ScrumMaster®

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