Earlier, we published our agile marketing framework to help entrepreneurs structure their marketing efforts. In that article, we touched on one of our key tools: the sprint retrospective.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to conduct your own sprint retrospective. If you’ve gotten to this point, you should have already completed your 1-page strategy and finished a sprint based on your Kanban board. If not, turn around and go back. You can find the guides for the 1-page strategy here or planning in the Kanban board here.

The Sprint retrospective occurs at the end of each sprint. At Leet Digital, we run weekly sprints and complete retrospectives at the end of each week.

The retrospective is a chance for all team members and stakeholders to come together and reflect on the outcomes of the sprint and look for ways to improve.

As part of the retrospective, we come prepared to answer four questions:

  1. What went well?
  2. What didn’t go well?
  3. What did we learn?
  4. How can we improve?

While there are other questions that work well for other teams, we’ve found this combination to be the most effective for marketing-based projects. That’s because they force us to look at the good and the bad, analyse what we learned from both these elements, and then identify action points for improvement.

The lower half of our retrospective template is where we look at our key performance indicators (KPIs) based on our 1-page strategy. From here, we turn our answers and ideas from the retrospective questions into actionable objectives and tasks.

At Leet, we aim to limit each retrospective to 45 minutes. In terms of process, the project manager facilitates the team in working through question-by-question. At the end of the sprint retrospective, it’s time to restart the sprint process and complete another sprint plan. 

There are a couple of key factors that contribute to successful retrospectives:

1.  It’s important that everyone be open and submit feedback with candour so that the information you derive from the retrospective is as honest as possible. This may mean you need to manage the politics that can pop up in team and office environments. 

2.  Make sure to turn your ideas for improvement into action, i.e., place the tasks/cards to be done as a result of the retrospective into your Kanban board, so that they can be actioned as a part of future sprints.

As you advance through multiple retrospectives, you’ll be able to look back at past retrospectives to determine how you’ve progressed against the ideas for improvement. This is one of the key strengths of retrospectives and why it is so important to complete this template (as opposed to a weekly work-in-progress meeting or simple discussion). Everything is written down for review later on.

And that’s it for the sprint retrospective. You’re now well on your way to applying the agile marketing structure we use at Leet Digital in your own business for continuous improvement. As always, you can contact us with any questions here or if you want more hands-on help 

Last but not least, you can download the sprint retrospective template here.

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by Myron Festejo

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August 28, 2019

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