Bug retrospective; Using bugs to describe story evolution.
The Bug Retrospective
Created by Karen Bruns, CSM and Heather Cline, PMP, CSM on 11/4/13.
1. Decide which bugs to use in the retro:
a. Dung Beetle – self explanatory
b. Butterfly – story went fast – it took flight – maybe you thought it was going to be ugly,
but it surprised you and turned out to be very nice
c. Ladybug – story was good, reliable requirements, good information, helpful people
d. Caterpillar – story or person was transformational or caused transformation within you
e. Fire-fly – story or person made light bulbs go off for you; great learning
f. Black widow – story consumed you, and had clear visual warnings
g. Tick – story or person got under your skin and really bothered you
h. Grasshopper – had you jumping around looking for information
i. Cricket – believe it brought you good luck
j. Bee – working on it made you feel part of a community
k. Hornet – it stung you; learned some painful lessons
l. Bed bugs or flies – drove you crazy, kept moving around, perhaps kept you from
m. Cockroach – story just wouldn’t die; you thought it was done and it just stayed alive
(perhaps missed or poorly communicated requirements)
n. Stink bug – the story stunk, wasn’t fun, didn’t learn anything, maybe had negative
interactions inside or outside of the team
o. Black Ants – story had you working hard in every aspect, but the hard work paid off in
p. Aphids – A story that should have been an epic or had many little stories spinning off of
q. Pill bug – story that was a pill to work on
r. Tarantula – story was big & hairy (somewhat self-explanatory)
s. Praying mantis – story waged war on you; was really tough
t. Mites or fleas – story just kept growing or expanding (changing requirements)
u. Locust – consumes everything in its path, perhaps causing long work hours or missed
stories because this story consumed the team’s focus
v. Stick bug – person or requirements rigid in nature; no leeway given on the creativity
w. Mosquito – story left you bumpy and itchy; feeling out of sorts and nervous
x. Fire Ant – story burned you; you wish you hadn’t taken this story on because the
negative impact will have long lasting effects
2. Using the links below, label the pictures of chosen bugs on 8.5” x 11” paper to hang on the walls
of a conference room.
3. Email the team ahead of time so that they have time to capture the story number and issue
details on sticky notes (while still fresh in their mind) of why a specific story relates to a specific
4. Team enters the room and puts their sticky notes under the appropriate bug photos.
5. Team members read one issue under a given bug, soliciting the person who submitted the bug
to share any further details and soliciting the team to offer suggestions for improvement.
ScrumMaster documents bugs, issues, concerns, and suggested resolutions/improvements and
shares with team when complete.
6. Depending on the number of suggested improvements identified, the team agrees which
improvements to work on during their subsequent sprint. Any improvements not being actively
worked on should be added to the team’s parking lot and revisited frequently.
7. During following sprints, team can call out negative bugs as they see the stories moving that
direction and the ScrumMaster can step in with facilitation skills and help the team to avert,
situations before they become impediments.
Links to photos of bugs: