Sprint retrospective samlpe answers

Mastering sprint retrospectives: Sample answers and practical tips

If you work according to the Scrum process or want to learn from it, then sprint retrospectives are probably one of the most important components. They offer development teams the opportunity to come together regularly (usually around every two weeks at the end of the sprint) and reflect on the work of the last few weeks. This reflection makes it possible to categorize what has been experienced and to learn from it for the future. This makes it possible to strengthen the dynamics in the team in the long term and makes the team structure more effective.

The importance of honest feedback
and how to get it:

Tips for promoting open communication

Honest feedback is one of the absolute foundations for effective teamwork. Especially if you attach great importance to continuous improvement. In my opinion, it only makes sense to hold a good sprint retrospective if a certain degree of openness is guaranteed. To ensure that honest feedback is given in sprint retrospectives, it is important that team members really feel safe. The more "fear" of judgment team members feel, the less productive retrospectives and other feedback sessions will be. So here are some pragmatic tips for increasing psychological safety:

Create a relaxed and trusting environment:

    • Easier said than done, the atmosphere is of course an important factor influencing the feeling of safety. Pay attention to the dynamics of how difficult situations are dealt with in the team. If you notice that the whole team tends to get stressed in these situations, this is a sign that there is too little "basic trust" in the team. Because when tensions are experienced in difficult situations, it usually automatically follows that people shy away from addressing sensitive topics because they don't want to show the feeling in the team that is otherwise perceived in these situations. Relaxation and trust must therefore become the team's modus operandi.

The role model function of managers (lead by example):

    • Even though managers often want to act as equals with their teams, (especially inexperienced) team members take their cue from their manager: How does the manager deal with difficult situations?

      As a manager, ask yourself when the last time was that you stood up in front of your team and said something like: "Guys, I've really fucked this up..."
      If you reflect on this, it often happens less often than it should. If you as a manager feel shame yourself when dealing with problematic issues, it is not uncommon for this feeling to be transferred (albeit unconsciously) to the other members of the team.
      You can take proactive countermeasures here, for example by taking the initiative in retrospectives when asked "What didn't go so well" and dealing positively with your failures.

Anonymous feedback options:

    • In working with many companies, we have found that the option of providing "anonymous feedback" often leads to things being addressed that would otherwise remain hidden. Even if the problem quickly arises that the feedback cannot be assigned to a person and therefore seems worthless at first, it can nevertheless raise awareness of the underlying problem.

      Only when this awareness is present can you ensure, as in steps 1 and 2, that you question again why this feedback was only given anonymously.

All in all, it's fair to say that fostering a culture characterized by safety and trust is no walk in the park. But understanding how this culture works and then cultivating it in the team over time is a real game changer.

Sample retrospective questions and answers

Now it makes sense to focus on the sprint retrospectives. Questions are asked here that are intended to stimulate thought and reflection:

The What Went Well retrospective

Open Feedback Questions

What went well?

What went not so well?

How can we improve?

As seen in the chart, there are the following two, or in our case three, questions of the What Went Well Retrospective...👀


What went well?👍🏽

✅ Example: You were very happy with the new tool to help with prioritization & transparency of the product backlog. It should definitely be used further.


What didn't work so well? 👎🏽

✅ Example: It's good to look at agile metrics like your team's velocity from time to time – Unfortunately, that hasn't happened much lately! We should get better at keeping track of our metrics.
👉🏽 More info about: "
agile metrics".


How can we improve? 🙌🏽

✅ ExampleYou have the feeling that not everyone in your team dares to speak up. So the so called "psychological safety" should be improved. So you could do more often an agile team Health Check in 3 steps in the team.
👉🏽 More info about: "
psychological safety" or "Team health check in 3 steps".

Further resources and templates

Of course, we also have other retrospectives on offer. Here are a few examples:

Sprint retrospective sample answers

Team Commitments Retrospective

The current challenges require exceptional teamwork. Check whether your team is pulling together with this retro:

Health-Check questions:

These questions are answered on a scale (1-5):

As a team, we share a common understanding of what "good work" is.

Open feedback questions:

Handling of contradictory priorities: ‘When I encounter contradictory priorities, I …’

Communication of blockers: ‘When I am stuck on a task, I announce this by …’

Navigation of conflicts: ‘When I notice a conflict start to build up in our team, I …’

working agreement sample template tool

Sprint retrospective sample answers

Psychological safety Retro

Low-conflict collaboration is crucial, especially in tough times. To achieve this, however, everyone must have the confidence to talk about points of friction before they get out of hand. Having the security of always being able to speak out in a team is also known as "psychological safety". See where you stand on this topic:

Health-Check questions:

These questions are answered on a scale (1-5):

I regularly receive useful feedback on how good my performance is and how I can improve.

If a team member makes a mistake, they are not judged for it.

You're allowed to not know things in our team.

In conflicts, we talk on a factual level, so that no one feels personally attacked or judged.

Open feedback questions:

What else do we want to talk about?

Sprint retrospective sample answers

Battery Retrospective

Difficult times also put a strain on personal batteries. It is particularly important now to keep an eye on the team's energy levels:

Open feedback questions:

How full is your personal battery as a percentage right now?

What has drained your battery recently?

What has recharged your battery recently?

What would help you to save energy over the next few weeks?

You can also read through this article, where we have presented 33 more retros: 33 Simple examples of retrospectives

Of course, it also makes sense not to simply make retros, but to use a tried and tested structure in the retrospectives.
This is exactly why we created the Echometer tool. It allows you to prepare a perfect retrospective in under 2 minutes. More than 100 customers already describe this as a huge lever for their retro management.

Just try it out for free:

Share this article in your network

Need a team boost? Do this: The Spotify Health Check Retrospective!

First Health question: "😍 We love going to work, and have great fun working together."

Sounds good? Try our retro tool for free below.

Articles you may also be interested in

Echometer Newsletter

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