Retrospectives are necessary for a successful agile process. Unfortunately, though, they can sometimes be dry and dull (mostly due to their highly technical nature).
One way to make retrospective questions more fun and engaging is to add an icebreaker section at the beginning of the meeting. Icebreakers can help everyone shift into a more open frame of mind when discussing what went well and what might be improved during the sprint.
Fun Retro Questions keep things light during meetings.
It's a good rule of thumb to keep your retrospective meetings as light as possible. But how can you accomplish that without trivialising the issues that need to be addressed? Let's take a look at the fun retrospective questions you can use to keep things efficient and enjoyable.
Useful Tips for Adding Fun Retrospective Questions
Adding fun retro questions can be challenging if you aren’t sure where to start. Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Make Sure Everyone Is Comfortable
Before getting started, make sure everyone is comfortable and has enough space to move around. This means that the questions should be appropriate for the audience and shouldn't cause anyone to feel uncomfortable.
You may want to avoid personal questions or those that could lead to conflict. This will help keep the energy level high throughout the session.
2. Start With a Simple Question
To get things going, start with a simple question that doesn't require too much thought or analysis. For example, "What was your favourite part of the sprint?" A question like this helps team members relax and get into the groove.
3. Be Creative!
Retrospectives can be boring if they're all business all the time. Try mixing it up with some creative questions that will get people thinking outside the box.
If you always use the same questions, people will get bored. Be creative and come up with some questions that stimulate new discussion. You can also modify existing questions to make them more interesting.
4. Keep It Lighthearted
The goal is to have some fun, so try to keep the questions lighthearted. They should be something that people can answer without feeling too serious about it. Jokes are a great way to add levity to the discussion.
A good rule of thumb is to keep the tone lighthearted and positive. No one wants to feel like they're being grilled during a retrospective meeting!
5. Encourage Participation From Everyone
If you want everyone to contribute to the retro, encourage participation from everyone involved - even if they don't think they have anything valuable to add. This can be done by using questions that are relevant to everyone, regardless of their role on the team.
For example, “What was your favourite part of the sprint?” or “What challenges did you face during the sprint?”
The Goals of Using Retrospective Questions
The goal of using retrospective questions is to get the team thinking about their past work and brainstorming improvements for the future. Therefore, the questions should be fun and engaging, and relevant to the project.
Some questions might be more personal in nature, while others might be more concerned with processes or operations. Mixing things up can create a comfortable space for sharing and help keep the tone lighthearted and uplifting while also encouraging participation from everyone involved.
Fun Retro Questions
Retrospective meetings can often be tense, and agile team members can find themselves working hard to avoid upsetting each other or pointing fingers.
By asking retrospective questions that promote conversation, you can keep the session light and enjoyable. This will help everyone feel more comfortable sharing. In addition, you may learn something new about your teammates.
We’ve collected these retrospective questions for you to can ask in your next retrospective:
Superhero Retrospective Questions
- If you were Batman, who on the team would be your Robin?
- What’s your superhero name?
- Who in your family would you consider a superhero?
- If the sprint team was the Avengers, who would be who?
- Would you choose the power of flight or invisibility?
- What was your Kryptonite during the last sprint?
- Where does Aquaman go to the toilet?
- What would your Superhero lair look like?
- What items would you always keep in your utility belt?
TV & Cinema Retrospective Questions
- What is your favourite TV show of all time?
- What is your favourite movie of all time?
- In a movie about your life, which star would you like to see play you?
- If you could have dinner with any fictional character, who would it be?
- Which movie marathon would you prefer: A Star Wars marathon or a Lord of the Rings marathon?
Weather Retrospective Questions
- What’s your favourite thing to do on a rainy day?
- What season would you be today based on the mood you're in?
- Were there any storms during the last sprint?
Family Retrospective Questions
- Who was your ‘older sibling’ during the last sprint?
Holiday Retrospective Questions
- Which would you prefer: a week spent in Italy or a staycation at home?
- Have you ever done extreme tourism?
- Do you have a go-to holiday destination?
- Do you prefer group holidays or going it solo?
Health & Exercise Retrospective Questions
- Did you get any PR’s during the last sprint?
- What was the ‘heaviest lift’ of the sprint?
- Where could you have ‘upped the weight’ during the last sprint?
- Do you workout before or after work?
- Have you ever tried a standing desk?
- Have you ever tried using a swiss ball as a chair replacement?
Music Retrospective Questions
- What type of music would you choose if your mood today was a musical genre?
- What is your go-to song among all the songs you can sing at karaoke?
- What’s your favourite shower song?
- What Rock ‘n Roll song would perfectly describe the last sprint?
Food & Beverage Retrospective Questions
- Which drink would you choose to live without for the rest of your life, coffee or tea?
- If you had to pick only one food and one beverage for the rest of your life, what would they be?
- Do you prefer your coffee hot or cold?
- What food or drink can cure any bad mood?
- What was your favourite childhood dish?
Animal Retrospective Questions
- What animal would you say best represents you today?
- Do you think animals can understand us?
- Did you have a childhood pet?
- What is your spirit animal?
Personal Retrospective Questions
- Tell us about something that changed in your hometown in the past decade.
- When you started your job, what was something you didn't know about the company?
- If you had $1M, but weren't allowed to spend a penny on yourself, what would you do with it?
- Which emoji best describes the mood you're in today?
- What caption would you use for this GIF? (share GIF in chat)
Fun retro questions can help lighten the mood, break the ice and encourage team members to be more open and candid during a retrospective.
By getting everyone involved in answering questions about their experience during the sprint, you can surface issues and ideas for improvement that may not otherwise have been discussed. Doing this can help to make the retrospective more productive and informative, as well as enjoyable overall.