Marie Kondo Retrospective

Itamar Mula
Itamar Mula
Co-Founder, Acumen
Posted on
Dec 14, 2022
Updated on
Apr 13, 2023
Table of Content

What Is The Marie Kondo Retrospective?

Named by press and her fans as “sensible tidying up fairy,” “tidying up mage” and even “organization guru,” the Japanese Marie Kondo is revolutionizing the way people manage their home organization. With her famous KonMari method, she promises everyone the clean, fresh, serenely organized living space of their dreams.

Her secret? Take a moment with each item you own, and ask yourself if it truly brings you joy. If it does, it’s meant to be kept. If not, upcycle that item or thank it for its service and say goodbye. 

With this retrospective template, you’ll apply a KonMari-style mentality to your next Agile retrospective or lessons learned meeting. Your team will think back, look inward, and declutter how you work. 

What Are The Marie Kondo Retrospective Prompts?

The KonMari method has premises that closely resemble lean thinking and Agile mindset. This activity asks participants to identify team practices that belong in three categories: Spark Joy, Recycle, and Throw Away.

  1. The Brings You Joy column allows the team to identify and celebrate the things that are going well. It is important for teams to recognize their successes and feel rewarded for a job well done.
  2. The Recycle column encourages the team to look at areas in which improvements can be made, so that future work can be more successful and streamlined. Through identifying areas of improvement, the team can become more efficient and effective in their tasks.
  3. The Throw Away column reminds the team to avoid activities or processes that are no longer relevant or beneficial, as these will only waste time and resources. By eliminating unnecessary tasks and updating procedures, operations can proceed smoothly with better results.

What sparks joy? 

Have a discussion and brainstorm together to identify the things that really made your team smile and feel fulfilled. Maybe you all had a great time doing a virtual yoga session every week, or you found that the standup meetings got everyone aligned and on track. Whatever it is, make sure to capture these moments and savor them so they can be part of your team's journey into the future! 

What to recycle? 

In this column, you’ll place everything that has plenty of life left, but just needs a bit of adjustment. Ask your team what processes, techniques, and strategies felt valuable, but could still stand to be changed or improved. Marie Kondo encourages us to take the time to evaluate what works and discard anything that doesn't, but it's worth considering whether  there are opportunities to recycle the items or ideas that have shown potential in the past. Don't throw them away; recycle them! 

What to throw away? 

What did your team realize it didn’t need moving forward? This can be anything that didn’t bring joy, or felt challenging, or held them back. 

As Marie Kondo famously said, "The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past." As you move forward on your journey, it's important to take some time to review and evaluate what has served you well and what is best left behind. Think about what doesn't bring you joy and might be holding you back. Honor that feeling, and make a conscious decision to move those things into the 'throw away' pile. Marie Kondo encourages us to appreciate what we’ve learned from them, thank them for their service, and then let them go. Doing so will allow you to start fresh with a new and improved approach to moving forward to a brighter future. 

When Is The Best Time To Run A Marie Kondo Retrospective?

Marie Kondo retrospectives are an excellent way to air out and declutter your working processes. Whether it's for spring cleaning, when your workflows have become messy, or to look back over a whole year, Marie Kondo retros can help you get rid of what no longer sparks joy and start fresh. 

At the end of the retrospective, each person should feel personally motivated, equipped with clarity on what goals they need to achieve in the upcoming period of time. This retrospective template is especially helpful when it comes to resetting priorities and redefining objectives for teams who have had a few months of non-stop work. This gives everyone the chance to reassess their goals and make sure everyone is on the same page about what needs to be done. 

In summary, Marie Kondo retrospectives are best used when looking back over a long period of time. They provide an opportunity for teams to celebrate successes, identify areas of improvement, plan for the future, and reset priorities. This helps ensure that all team members have clarity on what they need to achieve in the upcoming months and are motivated to move forward with renewed energy and enthusiasm. So why wait? Get your team together today for a Marie Kondo retrospective and say goodbye to the clutter!

Final Thoughts

Marie Kondo retrospectives can be an incredibly rewarding exercise for teams looking to reflect back on their work over the past year. It's like giving your entire team a metaphorical spring clean. By taking some time to push aside the clutter and assess what is still helpful going forward, you can make sure that everyone goes into the next season feeling refreshed, motivated and energized! From Agile teams to those just wanting to incorporate continuous improvement into their workflow, there are many benefits to incorporating Marie Kondo retros into your process. Who knows, it might even change your life! So why not give it a try today? You'll be glad you did. 

You can combine this with a retrospective tool like GoRetro to efficiently run your retrospectives with ease. With these tools, your team can collaborate and work their way to more productive and successful Sprints!

Happy tidying up! :) 

About the author

Itamar Mula
Co-Founder, Acumen

I’m an entrepreneur with a passion for agile practices and continuous learning. As co-founder of Acumen and former co-founder and VP R&D of Nextpeer (acquired by Rakuten), I have extensive experience in building and leading successful companies. I’m excited to continue pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the tech industry and driving innovation through experimentation and collaboration with my team.

Related Posts

Contact Us
Thank you! Your message has been sent!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Join thousands of companies

Start for free - update any time
Joining as an organisation? Contact sales