How to Create a Retrospective in Jira

Ruth Hadari
Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert
Posted on
Nov 15, 2021
Updated on
Apr 23, 2023
Table of Content

Does setting up a Jira retrospective sound complicated? It really isn’t! 

Creating a Jira retrospective gives you the best of both worlds: on the one hand, you get to have the sprint retrospective you need to have, and on the other hand, everything stays nice and organized right on your Jira dashboard! It's a win-win! 

So, how exactly do you create a retrospective in Jira? 

Just like this: 

How to Create a Retrospective in Jira in 4 Easy Steps

Forget all of the cutting and pasting (and accidentally revealing your WhatsApp chats to everyone on the Zoom call!). Here’s how to create your Jira retrospective in 4 quick, effortless steps: 

  1. Install the Agile Retrospectives for Jira app in the Atlassian marketplace
  2. Go to your Jira agile boards. On the left-hand menu, click on the newly-installed ‘Retrospectives’ app. 
  3. Click ‘New retrospective’ and start customizing your session. Choose your retro’s: name, number of columns and their titles, whether it’ll be an ‘open’ retro or an anonymous one, and choose the number of votes per user!
  4. Schedule or publish the session, and share the session link. Click to start the session with the ‘Get Started’ button. 

And that’s just the beginning of what you can do with your online Jira retrospective. It's such a simple integration tool to use that you can adapt it to virtually any type of retrospective you want to run! 

Speaking of which...

What Retrospective Techniques / Formats Can You Run in Jira?

While you can easily run any type of retrospective you like (and we’ve given you tons of ideas for how to keep your retrospectives alive and kicking, each and every time!) - the online nature of the Jira retrospective format might give you pause for thought. 

But, it really shouldn't. After all, Jira is just an online way to get your sprint off to the right start, and your retrospective flowing. Having said that, taking things online might break up the human connection you and your team enjoy in a non-Jira retrospective. 

We've rounded up three of the most fun and easy to apply online Jira retrospective formats for you right here: 

  1. Significant event: Talk in timelines, asking your team to note down when and how they approached the retrospective. This can also be a fantastic beginning activity, to focus your team. 
  2. Start-stop-continue: Turn ‘feelings’ into ‘action’ get your team talking about what they’d do (or did) rather than how they feel (or felt). To take this even further, spend 10 minutes of each of the ‘start’, ‘stop’ and ‘continue’ sections. 
  3. Like, loathed, lacked and learned, or ‘the 4Ls retro’: As with the retro format outlined above, focus 10 minutes on each of the ‘ls’ to keep things flowing and focused with your team. 

Yet, as we say here in the GoRetro and Acumen offices, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ Sometimes basic is best, which is why we keep things, well, nice and simple: with the basic Jira retrospective template. 

The Jira Retrospective Template

Although it might not be all-singing, all-dancing, the basic version of the Jira retrospective template does what it says on the tin: it helps you to run a basic (but very effective) Jira retrospective, along the ‘start’, ‘stop’, ‘keep doing’ lines. 

What do you need to do? Set up your Jira retrospective from the plugin (as outlined above), and then get your retro up and running! 

Jira Retrospective Plugins

Your Jira retrospective can (and will) run effortlessly from the Jira marketplace’s app, which seamlessly integrates with your Jira dashboard (obviously). 

But, if you're looking for something that does both that and can also run your retrospective automagically, then look no further than GoRetro. 

With this forever free tool, widely-loved by massive companies (Netflix, Lyft, and Adobe to name a few) you really need look no further. 

From dashboard configuration, to exciting retrospective formats, GoRetro has you covered, forever, and for free! Plus– soon you’ll have access to GoRetro’s interactive sprint review feature allowing you to run sprint reviews in Jira. Learn more here!

Final Thoughts

Creating a retrospective in Jira can be a challenging process, especially for those new to the platform. This task involves creating a board and selecting the retrospective template, which can be a daunting task for some. Fortunately, GoRetro is a valuable tool that can simplify and streamline the process of sprint retrospectives.

GoRetro is a collaborative platform that allows teams to work together efficiently on multiple projects using various boards. With this tool, creating boards is a breeze, and teams can easily add comments and sort and filter cards and comments to facilitate team discussions. Additionally, GoRetro includes a voting mechanism that helps with decision-making and identifying action items.

About the author

Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert

Highly experienced in leading multi-organizational teams, groups, in-shore as well as off-shore. The go-to person who is able to simplify the complex. An agile advocate, experienced in all common methodologies. Responsible for the entire software development lifecycle process from development, QA, DevOps, Automation to delivery including overall planning, direction, coordination, execution, implementation, control and completion. Drives execution, and communicates on status, risks, metrics, risk-mitigation and processes across R&D.

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