Mad - Sad - Glad Retrospective Format for sprint retrospective use

Alex Vernik
Alex Vernik
Engineering Ops Specialist
Posted on
Aug 20, 2020
Updated on
Jul 4, 2022
Table of Content

There are various sprint retrospective formats available with different uses or execution. This time around, we will be looking at the Mad – Sad – Glad retro type.

What is the Mad - Sad - Glad sprint retrospective?

This sprint retrospective format is a way to encourage each team member to look at their emotional journey throughout the past sprint. This format is an excellent way to take a look at team morale and job satisfaction so that certain things can be adjusted to boost morale if necessary. It encourages emotional awareness among your team and provides an opportunity for everyone to reflect on any issues or opportunities to create a positive team dynamic.

The Mad-Sad-Glad retrospective format is broken down into three components:

●      Mad: Each team member lists things that they did not agree with or made them upset during the previous sprint. They can also discuss what, if anything, is keeping them from performing at their best.

●      Sad: The team discusses things that have disappointed them or things that they wish they could change and improve for the next sprint.

●      Glad: The team then lists everything that made them happy when they think back to the previous sprint and also the elements of the project they enjoyed most.

What are the Mad-Sad-Glad agile retro uses?

The Mad - Sad - Glad retrospective format is a great way to take a look at your team’s morale and what can be done to boost that morale and keep everyone satisfied and working together. This approach focuses on how everyone is feeling individually, as well as the whole team’s emotions which will give you a good insight into which direction the team is headed in and what can be done to improve your team’s job satisfaction.

mad sad glad retro board
Mad Sad Glad Retrospective Template

When is the Mad-Sad-Glad sprint retrospective used?

This retrospective format is great to use when you need to take a logical look at what is working and what isn’t. It is also a great way to include everyone in making a list of actions that they could take to improve productivity and team building within your company.

mad sad glad retro infographic
Mad sad glad retrospective infographic

Interested in other retrospective formats?


From "What Went Well" to "Starfish retrospective", "Sailboat retrospective" and more, GoRetro's offers a wide variety of retrospective templates.
Pick up the best template for your team or create your own retro board using our custom option.

About the author

Alex Vernik
Engineering Ops Specialist

Engineering leader, passionate about coding products and value creation. Vast experience with managing R&D teams at various scales. Embracing innovation and transformation for constant improvement.

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