Sprint Review vs Sprint Retrospective

There are differences between the Sprint Review and the Sprint Retrospective, the two Scrum events that take place in the Sprint and that are often confused with each other, since, unlike other events such as the Sprint Planning or the Daily Scrum, both take place at the end of the Sprint.

Both the Sprint Review and the Sprint Retrospective have elements in common, but they can be differentiated by the following characteristics:

  • Meeting attendees
  • Time of the meeting during the Sprint
  • The duration time
  • The objective

Sprint Review

The Sprint Review event takes place at the end of the Sprint. During the Sprint Review, the Scrum Team and stakeholders analyze what was done during the Sprint and whether the Sprint Goal was achieved.

The Scrum Master‘s task during the Sprint Review is to ensure that the event is completed on time according to Scrum criteria.

What is reviewed in the Sprint Review?

The objective of the Sprint Review is to deliver the Incremental Value and adapt the Product Backlog by the Product Owner.

The Sprint Review should highlight in an informal meeting WHAT was done, but not HOW it was done.

The result of the Sprint Review is a revised Product Backlog with the elements that will be developed in the next Sprint. It is also at this meeting that the Product Backlog can be adjusted for new opportunities.

Who attends the Sprint Review?

The Sprint Review is attended by the entire Scrum Team, which includes the Scrum Master, the Development Team and the Product Owner himself as well as key stakeholders who have been invited by the Product Owner.

It is at this informal meeting that the Product Owner explains to the attendees which elements of the Product Backlog have been “Finished” and which have not been “Finished”, and the Development Team explains what went well during the Sprint, what problems appeared and how they were solved.

It is also at the Sprint Review that the Development Team presents a demonstration of the “Completed” work, and the Product Owner shows the Product Backlog in its current state and forecasts likely delivery dates over time based on the progress made so far.

How long is the Sprint Review?

Like all Scrum events, the Sprint Review will have a duration proportional to the time of the Sprint that is being developed, thus, the time for a Sprint of one month is 4 hours, if it is 3 weeks it will be 3 hours, and so on proportionally.

Sprint Retrospective

The Sprint Retrospective is the last event of the Sprint and is the opportunity for the Scrum Team to analyze itself and make a proposal for improvements to make the development of the next Sprint more efficient.

It should be done after the Sprint Review and before the next Sprint Planning.

The Scrum Master attends as a member of the team and must ensure that the event takes place and that the attendees, both the Development Team and the Product Owner, understand its purpose.

What is reviewed in the Sprint Retrospective?

During the Sprint Retrospective it is analyzed how the Sprint has been developed, examining interpersonal relationships as well as the processes and tools used during its development.

It is also the time to identify which elements went well and which improvements should be adapted, creating a plan to implement them in the next Sprint and to be followed by all members of the Scrum Team.

Who attends the Sprint Retrospective?

The Sprint Retrospective is attended by all members of the Scrum Team, including the Scrum Master who participates as an active member. His role is to motivate the Team to improve, within the Scrum framework, its development process and practices to make the Sprint more efficient.

How long is the Sprint Retrospective?

The maximum duration of the Sprint Retrospective should be 3 hours, and just like the Sprint Review, its time is proportional to the duration of the Sprint; so for the Sprint Retrospective to be 3 hours, it should be a Sprint of 4 weeks or a month, and so it should go down proportionally according to the weeks of the Sprint.

Differences between Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective

Once the two Scrum events are known, we can conclude that the differences between the Sprint Review and the Sprint Retrospective are the following:

  • Role of the Scrum Master: in the Sprint Review the Scrum Master only ensures that the Development Team and the Product Owner comply with the times established by Scrum according to the Sprint duration, while in the Sprint Retrospective he participates as another member.
  • Objective of the events: the objective of the Sprint Review is to present the increment to the stakeholders and optimize the Product Backlog if necessary, while the Sprint Retrospective aims to analyze the development of the Sprint itself, examining the relationships between team members, processes and tools and establish improvement plans for the next Sprint to be more productive.
  • Attendees to the events: in the Sprint Review, apart from the whole Scrum Team, those that the Prooduct Owner considers necessary can attend as guests, on the other hand, in the Sprint Retrospective only the Scrum Team attends.
  • Time of the events: one thing the events do have in common is that their duration is proportional to the duration of the Sprint, but if in the Sprint Review the maximum duration is 4 hours, for a Sprint of 4 weeks, for a Sprint Retrospective it is 3 hours, and so on in proportion to the number of weeks the Sprint lasts.
Differences between Sprint-Review-and Sprint Retrospective