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Scrum: When the team says that they don’t want to do a retrospective ..

This is another subject that can get tricky. In all the literature that you would have read about Scrum and any training you may have done, there would always be a mention of the various meetings that are important for Scrum, such as the Daily Scrum meeting, and the meetings at the start and beginning of the Sprint cycle, which includes the retrospective. In the retrospective, the team gets together and discusses the Sprint cycle that just went by, what things were right, what went wrong and what are the items that could be improved. A retrospective is considered one of the most important ways for the team to figure out improvement, and also do this on their own method, with the team driving the discussion and figuring out the areas of improvement. A team that has reached a high level of maturity is able to make good use of the retrospective and do it in a very positive atmosphere.
Now, the team knew this, and the Scrum Master who was working with the team also knew this. The team had a Sprint cycle that was 2 weeks long and they had already gone through several Sprint cycles. As a result, the team finally went to the Scrum master and told him something that shocked him – they told him that they would like to do the retrospective meeting on need basis rather than trying to do it every Sprint. The Scrum Master was shocked at this, and did not know what to say. He also realized that part of the whole stuff about Scrum that he had been taught and also discussed with fellow Scrum Masters was about the Scrum team driving their own processes, and if they had discussed this and come to this conclusion, then it was not for the Scrum Master to stand in the way of that decision.
To get some input on this area, he decided to talk to other Scrum Masters, and most of them were also unfamiliar with such a stand being taken by the Scrum team, except for one who person who was also working with a Scrum team that was mature and had a lot of experience. There was no consensus in that decision, although some people did express the feeling that how would the team improve if they did not have a standing meeting to discuss improvements. The Scrum Master then had another discussion with the team to understand more about their situation (not challenging the decision, but wanting to know whether they thought through all the all the points, especially about the part about how they will still bring through improvements). So, as a result, part of the discussion was all about ensuring that the team did get to have discussions every alternate Sprint about whether they needed to do such a retrospective meeting. Further, the team also asked the scrum master for letting them know anytime he felt that there were some areas that needed improvement or he felt that the productivity level of the team was declining to some degree.

Read another post where Scrum Master does some questioning.

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