safe agile retrospective questions scaled agile framework

7 Agile Retrospective Questions in a SAFe context

Are you searching for SAFe agile retrospective questions? Great, because I have some for you!

Safe Agile Retrospective Questions (Scaled Agile)

The SAFe iteration retrospective

There is one special retrospective in the Scaled Agile Framework SAFethat is called the iteration retrospective. There are some differences to an ordinary Scrum Team Sprint Retrospective, which should not be the focus of this post.

In my view and opinion, overall it is still very similar to a classical retrospective.

An obvious difference here is that you as a team apparently work in a scaled agile context. This means, there are potentially a lot more team’s involved and the agile processes probably are a little more complex compared to individual teams.

safe agile retrospective questions scaled agile framework


Scaled Agile Framework SAFe – Agile Retrospective Questions

This naturally changes the nature of the retrospective. And it leads me to a few SAFe agile retrospective questions that will help you to reflect on your team’s performance.

Some health check items for SAFe teams

The following questions are basically best practices of successful scaled agile framework teams. They are supposed to help you reflect on how well you are doing - and maybe even measuring your subjective progress over time.

Typically, every team member anonymously answers the following questions on a scale from 1 (Disagree completely) and 7 (Agree Completely).

  • Vision: “As a team we know exactly what our value contribution to the product vision is.”
  • Flow of information: “As a team, we receive all information necessary to achieve our goals.”
  • Cross-team-collaboration: “We also work together successfully cross-functionally and across team or departmental boundaries.”
  • Customer orientation: “We are aware of our customer's challenges and problems.”
  • Leadership & Management: “Our direct managers trust us as a team to solve problems on our own.”
  • Self-organisation: “As a team we have enough freedom to organize our work independently.”
  • Process: “Our iteration length is just right.”

The anonymous results given to these safe agile retrospective questions are then reflected on in the retrospectives. After checking the results of every item, you might ask: “How do you explain the results? Feel free to also share what you answered.”

By the way, a classic for agile retrospectives in SAFe scaled agile environments is the Spotify Health Check Retrospective (more info at the link). Here you have an insight into some of the possible questions – and can Retro without login in Echometer without registering:

Note: This retrospective format asks for agreement with the given Health Check items on a scale.

Team Radar Tool Health Check Retrospective
  • Speed: We get stuff done really quickly. No waiting, no delays.
  • Processes: Our way of working suits us perfectly.
  • Value: We deliver great stuff! We’re proud of it and our stakeholders are really happy.
  • Other items (customizable)

Advantage of this approach

The nice thing about adding some of these health check items into your retrospective and measuring them: You can ask the same safe agile retrospective questions a few months later and see how you developed in clear numbers!

Of course, these numbers are just based on subjective perceptions. But still, they are able to create a regular feeling of accomplishment which is great to foster the agile mindset in teams.

Most Agile Coaches and Scrum Masters run in circles...

...fixing superficial symptoms. Time to use psychology to foster sustainable mindset change.

"We could be so much faster and better at delivery!"

"I would love to have an Agile Coaching Genius, who simply tells us how to deliver better.”

"Why does it sometimes take me hours to prepare a simple retro?"

"Many team members are afraid to speak up!"

"We discover too many unexpected issues & bugs at a late stage!"

"Why does it sometimes take me hours to prepare a simple retrospective?"

Conclusion - SAFe Agile Retrospective Questions

The given SAFE Agile Retrospective Questions are obviously some of many foci you might set in our iteration retrospective. I recommend to research for more approaches and regularly iterate on it.

If you are searching for some more retrospective ideas, feel free to have a look at our 32 kickass retrospective formats – the post includes some more examples of questions and health check retrospectives (see above).

Share this article in your network

Echometer is the easiest way to improve the team's delivery - for busy team leads

The tool combines agile health checks, action item tracking and interactive, psychology-based retrospectives on autopilot.

Articles you may also be interested in

Echometer Newsletter

Don't miss updates on Echometer & get inspiration for agile working