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Becoming a More Effective FAST Tribe

At regular intervals, the team [tribe] reflects on how 
to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly
 – Principal behind the agile manifesto

FAST borrows from Scrum and has some differences. Some of these come out of the fact that FAST is designed to scale where Scrum is not. So to map the idea of a Sprint Retrospective requires us to take a different approach once we have hit the scaling tipping point of FAST - i.e., more people than you would feed with two pizzas. At this point, you have a tribe and not a team.  In FAST we describe a tribe as a network of talent, a complex adaptive system, or to use the analogy from General Stanley McChrystal - a team of teams

Once you have a network, where teams form and re-form dynamically, how do you map a retrospective onto such a formation? Does each swarm have a retrospective? But if so, what is the point when the longevity of that swarm is unknown. Wouldn’t it be better for the entire tribe to move up together? But how do you hold a retrospective meeting for an entire tribe? Does that even make sense?

If you look at Scrum, it recommends a retrospective (reflection) meeting of 3-hour duration every 30 days. 

A few ideas for implementing a reflection strategy at your location might be:

  1. A regular FAST Guild meeting
  2. A regular reflection event e.g. a 3-4 hour open space event every month
  3. A combination of the above
  4. Come up with something else that complies with the principle behind the Agile Manifesto on reflection and effectiveness.


FAST is not prescriptive in how you implement your regular interval reflections. It leaves the discovery of this aspect to the tribe to innovate for themselves.

Glossary of FAST to Scrum Nearest Equivalent

 FAST Scrum
 Swarm Team
 Product Director Product Owner
 Iteration Sprint