The retrospective process usually goes through five different steps as mentioned in the book “Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great by Esther Derby”
1. Set the stage.
2. Gather data.
3. Generate Insights.
4. Decide what to do.
5. Close the retrospective.
1. Set the stage: In this step the stage is set that is the ground work is done to bring the people to common understanding that they need to focus on how things went in the last sprint and identify areas of improvements. In set the stage, an agenda for the retrospective is prepared and shared with the team so that they will not think that it as aimless meeting. Some ground rules of what is acceptable (talking freely about the problem areas) and what is not acceptable in the retrospective is discussed (personal criticism). The main aim of this step is to a. Explain why we are doing the retrospective b. Get people talking so that they become comfortable c. Set the ground rules.
2. Gather data: In this step we create a shared vision of what happened in the iteration or release depending on the focus of retrospective.
3. Generate Insights: In this step the team tries to evaluate the data gathered in the previous steps to understand the reasons behind the data gathered.
4. Decide what to do: In this step the team decides on what are the lessons learned
5. Close the retrospective: This is the last step and in this step the team reflects on what happened during the retrospective and express appreciation to each other.