I am the SM for two teams of 9 totalling 18 people and 20 including SM and PO. Half the team is at offshore so we are using Web conferences for our meetings.

So my question is, should we hold different retrospective sessions for the different teams or a big one? The big one is hard because a lot of people want to speak and we don't have the time to. (1 hour)

  • Dont do them at all. They are toxic blame sessions
    – Ewan
    Commented May 7, 2016 at 20:55

3 Answers 3


The retrospective is a team specific meeting; and as a result, you should have two separate retrospectives. A more detailed explanation can be found here.

For example, if Team A likes a process and Team B doesn't like a process, that is an item that Team B is going to change and improve upon that Team A doesn't care about.

Having said that, in my experience, it has been worthwhile to have a larger retrospective with the entire dev team (or representatives from each team) once every so often. We have done release retrospectives that allow for feedback to move up the planning chain.


The Scrum retrospective is just for one team. The reasons for this are:

  • Communication is more difficult in large groups (that is why we limit the size of a Scrum team)
  • The team will have problems specific to them
  • The retrospective helps the team to work better together

You could also suggest to the teams that they share the results of their retrospectives with other teams. This is at the discretion of the teams as they may prefer to keep them private.

If the teams find they get a lot of value from reviewing other teams retrospectives then it may also be worth suggesting they have an additional retrospective for the combined teams. You could also suggest that to keep the meeting size down that only limited numbers attend from each team. For example, you could have 3-4 members of each team attend, rotating who attends with each meeting.


You say half the team is offshore. Do you mean half of each team, or is there one team at the main location and one team offshore?

In agile you can do retrospectives at the team level, and also with multiple teams or at a project level or for a release. The last types of retrospectives are sometimes called Retrospectives of Retrospectives, similar to Scrum of Scrums.

My suggestion would be to do both: retrospectives in each of the teams separately, and joint retrospectives with everybody which focuses on the remote collaboration. Those could include culture, communication, tools, etc, any thing that matters for the two sites to work together effectively.

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