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

This is a continuation of a series of posts that talk about a Scrum team that wanted to stop doing retrospectives, where the Scrum Master was a colleague of mine, and he was a in a puzzle about what he should do, or whether he should do something. He did some discussion with the team, and realized that they felt that with their length of Sprint (2 weeks), they did not feel that they needed to do a retrospective at the end of every Sprint, and instead they would do so as and when they required it. He discussed this with other scrum masters, and while there was no consensus about what to do, there was enough opinion that if the team feels strongly about it, then it was not the position of the Scrum Master to oppose it.
However, after the post, a few of my colleagues read the post, and I also got a few comments about the post, and added a couple more posts to present another angle to this. These posts went on the other angle, to see whether the team had got a grip on everything about the retrospective. So, in the previous post (Different perspectives of a retrospective), I talked about the team should not treat the retrospective as just a post-mortem of issues that need to be resolved. There needs to be thought about the relationship with the Product Owner and any improvements in that area, about figuring out improvements in the technical practices followed by the team, Sprint goals, and numerous other techniques. The idea of a retrospective is to be one of the instruments of continuous improvements.
In this post, I will again move back to the need of a team to take the final decision on whether they are going to do a retrospective or not, based on discussions with the members of another team. Consider the case of a team which has short Sprints (2 weeks), and has a mature team that has been working with each other (with only 1 member of the team having changed in the past 2 years) as a part of a Scrum team for around 3 years now. The team has been going through so many iterations of retrospectives (having had to do them every 2 weeks for so long) that they have found themselves running short of what to do in a retrospective. For them, the retrospective process has been getting dull, and even though they have a person in the team specifically targeted to aim for improvement in practices, even that person is not really able to do too many things now. As a result, they had a series of discussions where they felt that doing a regular retrospective was not on in their situation, and it would be better for them to do the retrospective on a as needed case. They would continue to do informal chats from time to time about whether there was a need, and would continue to monitor any deviance from their Sprint goals, and also measure they velocity and if there was a concern, then they would take up the discussion.
Agreeing with the team on this continues to give them the feeling that they are in charge of defining their own processes, and at the same time, the measuring of Sprint goals and any deviance from that also had the realization that even though they are in charge, there is a need for them to not become over-confident, and pick up the topic if there was a need. Once the team realized that their stakeholders were in agreement, it was morale-boosting.

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