AS 07 - Iteration Without an Iteration Retrospective

Retrospective meetings represent opportunities for the development team to reflect on how they are working and improve the method when necessary.

The Iteration Without an Iteration Retrospective smell is detected when there is no retrospective meeting associated with a given iteration. The presence of this smell may indicate that an important opportunity for improvement prescribed by agile methods is being wasted.

Agile Methods: Retrospective meetings are mentioned by three agile methods: Scrum, Crystal methods and ADS. Scrum defines Sprint Retrospective as a meeting that usually follows the Sprint Review, where the development team (and only it) gives and receives feedback on the process followed during the Sprint. Crystal encourages a practice called Reflective Improvement in which developers take a break from regular development and try to improve their processes. The Learning Loop principle in ADS is also based on retrospective meetings that are usually performed after each cycle.

Industry Perspective: All participants indicated - with different levels - that the agile smell is relevant. No additional comment was given.

Identification Strategy: Two strategies were proposed to verify the presence of a Retrospective Meeting. The first strategy consists in checking if there is any task associated with the iteration plan that represents the Retrospective meeting. The second strategy is to verify if there is any task in the iteration plan that produces an Iteration Retrospective Minute artifact.

Parameters: A Tolerated Number of Consecutive Iterations Without Retrospective parameter could be used to specify a tolerable number of consecutive iterations without retrospective meetings.