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An agile retrospective is a type of planning session typically done after one stage of an agile software development process, or around an event like a software release. In these planning sessions, those who have participated in agile development processes will evaluate these processes carefully to think about what methods may have worked better than others, and how to continuously improve on design and process going forward.
Because agile retrospectives look at the collaboration between various developers or IT professionals, many of these meetings are very much team-based. It’s generally important to get all of the right people involved. For example, a meeting that doesn’t include someone who had responsibility for a large number of code modules, or who contributed quite a bit to overall design, may not really accomplish its objective without that person's input.
In addition to getting the right people together, experts in agile development recommend establishing a specific focus for an agile retrospective. This means collecting specific data and presenting it to teams, while declaring some issues that don’t have to do with a specific process off limits. This helps to ensure that the agile retrospective stays on track and addresses the issues of a particular project. Team members will bring this data to the table and brainstorm about how to make it actionable in the future.