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Sprint retrospectives, for the project

I’m sure you are all familiar with sprint retrospectives, how they can be run and the value that they add but have you thought of using this tool to run a project review.

A short while ago we completed a project with our customer and we decided that we should do a project review.  In my case the customer is external to our organisation. 

I thought about this for a while and remembered back to previous project reviews I had been in and how stale and stuffy they were and sometimes a very defensive meeting, a thought occurred to me which was to run a sprint retrospective but for the project.

I rang my colleague Richard another scrum master on the same project and mentioned this to him and to my delight he’d had the same thought so we agreed that we should try this out.

When our customer visited for the review we briefed them on how we wanted to do it but also warned them that we hadn’t ran a project review this way before, we have a good customer relationship so this wasn’t a problem to them.

Richard ran the retrospective starting with a time line and key events.  It was really interesting to see the different perspectives that people had and quite enlightening to us some of the things that our external customer thought was key and enlightening to them on what their supplier thought was key.

We then progressed to the good, not so good and what can be improved and then agreed on what actions needed to be taken, exactly as I’m sure most people run their sprint retrospectives.

What struck me most however was the interaction, fun, openness and feeling of a single team that this process created and it was a joy to be part of with everybody being open and honest in a non-confrontational way about the things that are important to them and us all working together to inspect and adapt our project for the better.

Never again if I have my way will I be in a stale, stuffy or defensive project review meeting.

Sprint retrospectives for the project are the way to go.

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