pt>

18 Types of Ideas for Sprint Retrospective Formats

Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert
Posted on
Jun 11, 2020
Updated on
Nov 23, 2021

There are so many Sprint retrospective meeting formats to choose from. Let’s look at the different sprint retrospective ideas and types and talk a little about each.

3 Columns Retrospective Formats

Start-Stop-Continue Sprint Retrospective

The Start-Stop-Continue template is oriented around action and encourages team members to collaborate and come up with ideas for team improvement. The structure of these meetings is broken up into three parts including start (what they should start doing in next sprint), stop (stop doing), and continue (what they should continue doing).

What Went Well Retrospective Format

The format of retrospective what went well focuses on the team’s strengths and weaknesses and can be used to figure out a plan of action according to what works and what doesn’t. Two posters are put up and each team member writes down things that went well and didn’t go well and they are then put onto the coordinating poster. The team discusses each one.

Mad-Sad-Glad Sprint Retro

The Mad Sad Glad retrospective idea encourages team members to look at their emotional journey throughout the previous sprint by listing things that perhaps made them mad or irritated them, things that disappointed or upset them, and things that made them happy during the project. It is a great way to focus on the perspective of the development team as a whole.

Three Little Pigs Retrospective Format

The Three Little Pigs Retrospective takes a queue from the story we've all grown up with :) It is a cool way to gain team insight covering instability, lack of solidity, and what is truly solid...like the different houses in the tale.

Lean Coffee Retrospective

The Lean Coffee format is structured but does not include an agenda because the members of the meeting build an agenda at the beginning. This is a good way to do things because it ensures everyone is on the same page and that all topics that team members want to cover will be covered. Team members come up with ideas about the topics they want to cover, vote (perhaps using a dot vote) on the priority of the topics, and then discuss.

Movie Critic Retrospective Idea

The Movie Critic Retrospective helps teams use metaphors and playful movie critiques to discuss the more complicated and frustrating aspects of their previous sprint. The format encourages teams to explore their more abstract feelings, while making practical suggestions and decisions for the next sprint in tandem.

4 Columns Retrospective Formats

Sailboat Sprint Retrospective

The Sailboat retrospective format is a simple and creative retro idea. A sailboat is drawn with its sails, its anchor, some rocks, some clouds, and a few islands. The anchor is everything that slows the team down or holds them back. The clouds and wind represent everything that is helping them move forward. The islands represent future goals and visions. The rocks represent risks they might have to take to reach those island goals. It is a nice, visual way to break things down.

DAKI Sprint Retro Idea

The DAKI Retrospective helps see the different team members' perspectives on various behaviors, patterns, and activities they handle. This is done thanks to a discussion of the items that should be Dropped, Added, Kept, or Improved.

It is aimed for reflection, to get the team on the same page, and re-focus all on the goal/s.

4Ls Agile Retrospective

The 4Ls retrospective idea includes the 4Ls - Liked, Learned, Lacked, and Longed for. The team is given the opportunity to share things under each of these categories from the previous sprint.

Iteration Agile Retrospective Idea

The Iteration retrospective format involves reviewing the past sprint both quantitatively and qualitatively. By looking at both things, the team is able to decide what worked and what didn’t, as well as come up with realistic goals and actions for the next sprint.

Good, Bad, Ideas, Action Retrospective Format

The Good, Bad, Ideas, Action Sprint Retrospective is an easy way to go over the previous sprint and what went well (or hasn't) as well as come up with real ideas and actions to be used in the following sprint.
This retrospective format is also known by the name "Quick Retrospective" since it's a way to quickly dive in and gain insights on the previous sprint, covering: what was good, what was bad, ideas forward, and actions needed.
It's a simple and straightforward way to ease your team into running sprint retrospectives...and hopefully for it to become a team habit.

KALM Retrospective Format

The KALM Sprint Retrospective Format is used to moderate conversations between dev team members or what is being done and its actual value overall; are goals being achieved? The team covers the following categories: Keep, Add, Less, and More.

5 Columns Retrospective Formats

Oscar Academy Awards Retro Format

Oscar Academy Awards agile retrospective is exactly what it sounds like. Team members are nominated for different awards such as communication, leadership, etc. Also, stories are nominated and voted on for best story, worst story, etc. This is a good way to motivate the team to keep doing a great job.

Starfish Retrospective Format

The Starfish Retrospective idea helps reflect on the previous sprint with structured categories to be discussed and covered, including Keep, Stop, Start, Less, and More.

Retrospective Ideas

Remote Retrospective Idea

The Remote Sprint Retrospective idea is simply a format that is available remotely so that teams can meet no matter where they are!

Spiderweb Retrospective Format

The Spiderweb Retrospective Format might sound scary, but it’s actually incredibly simple, easy and effective! The retro works by contrasting a team's strengths and weaknesses in various areas, which is traditionally done by graphing results along eight different spider legs like a radar chart.

Extreme Pairing Retrospective Idea 

The Extreme Pairing Retrospective Idea is a great way to get your team members talking– especially those team members who may not get along usually! This retro idea asks team leaders to identify any members of their team who may exist on the poles of the team’s shared culture. This could mean minority members of the team, your shyest or loudest members, or really anyone who can be singled out from the larger group. By pairing these individuals with their opposite, there is a chance that the team will come up with some previously unheard of ideas! 

Futurspective Idea

The Futurspective Retrospective Idea makes use of visualization in order to motivate team members to drive towards their sprint goals. This idea asks team members to envision themselves at the end of a successful sprint, imagining what goals they’ve achieved and what it was that helped them reach that point. Then, the team will decide what they can do at present to ensure their goals are achieved in the future. 

Culture Cards Idea

The Culture Cards Retrospective Idea provides teams an excellent way to analyze their shared character and culture. Team leaders will create a number of culture cards that each list one word, like: “Respect,” “Efficiency,” or “Competitive.” Team members will choose one card at a time in order to explore discussions about how strongly the card’s buzzword reflects the team’s culture. If there are cards with great buzzwords that the team hasn’t been fulfilling, they’ll discuss how they can better align with these positive cultural aspects. 

Fun retrospective ideas & games

Fresh retrospective ideas

Retrospective ideas for remote teams

GoRetro Signup
GoRetro Signup!

Choosing the right format for your team is important. In the next article, we will talk about how to choose the retrospective format that is perfect for you and your team.


Image Credit 

18 Types of Ideas for Sprint Retrospective Formats

Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert
Posted on
Jun 11, 2020
Updated on
Nov 23, 2021

There are so many Sprint retrospective meeting formats to choose from. Let’s look at the different sprint retrospective ideas and types and talk a little about each.

3 Columns Retrospective Formats

Start-Stop-Continue Sprint Retrospective

The Start-Stop-Continue template is oriented around action and encourages team members to collaborate and come up with ideas for team improvement. The structure of these meetings is broken up into three parts including start (what they should start doing in next sprint), stop (stop doing), and continue (what they should continue doing).

What Went Well Retrospective Format

The format of retrospective what went well focuses on the team’s strengths and weaknesses and can be used to figure out a plan of action according to what works and what doesn’t. Two posters are put up and each team member writes down things that went well and didn’t go well and they are then put onto the coordinating poster. The team discusses each one.

Mad-Sad-Glad Sprint Retro

The Mad Sad Glad retrospective idea encourages team members to look at their emotional journey throughout the previous sprint by listing things that perhaps made them mad or irritated them, things that disappointed or upset them, and things that made them happy during the project. It is a great way to focus on the perspective of the development team as a whole.

Three Little Pigs Retrospective Format

The Three Little Pigs Retrospective takes a queue from the story we've all grown up with :) It is a cool way to gain team insight covering instability, lack of solidity, and what is truly solid...like the different houses in the tale.

Lean Coffee Retrospective

The Lean Coffee format is structured but does not include an agenda because the members of the meeting build an agenda at the beginning. This is a good way to do things because it ensures everyone is on the same page and that all topics that team members want to cover will be covered. Team members come up with ideas about the topics they want to cover, vote (perhaps using a dot vote) on the priority of the topics, and then discuss.

Movie Critic Retrospective Idea

The Movie Critic Retrospective helps teams use metaphors and playful movie critiques to discuss the more complicated and frustrating aspects of their previous sprint. The format encourages teams to explore their more abstract feelings, while making practical suggestions and decisions for the next sprint in tandem.

4 Columns Retrospective Formats

Sailboat Sprint Retrospective

The Sailboat retrospective format is a simple and creative retro idea. A sailboat is drawn with its sails, its anchor, some rocks, some clouds, and a few islands. The anchor is everything that slows the team down or holds them back. The clouds and wind represent everything that is helping them move forward. The islands represent future goals and visions. The rocks represent risks they might have to take to reach those island goals. It is a nice, visual way to break things down.

DAKI Sprint Retro Idea

The DAKI Retrospective helps see the different team members' perspectives on various behaviors, patterns, and activities they handle. This is done thanks to a discussion of the items that should be Dropped, Added, Kept, or Improved.

It is aimed for reflection, to get the team on the same page, and re-focus all on the goal/s.

4Ls Agile Retrospective

The 4Ls retrospective idea includes the 4Ls - Liked, Learned, Lacked, and Longed for. The team is given the opportunity to share things under each of these categories from the previous sprint.

Iteration Agile Retrospective Idea

The Iteration retrospective format involves reviewing the past sprint both quantitatively and qualitatively. By looking at both things, the team is able to decide what worked and what didn’t, as well as come up with realistic goals and actions for the next sprint.

Good, Bad, Ideas, Action Retrospective Format

The Good, Bad, Ideas, Action Sprint Retrospective is an easy way to go over the previous sprint and what went well (or hasn't) as well as come up with real ideas and actions to be used in the following sprint.
This retrospective format is also known by the name "Quick Retrospective" since it's a way to quickly dive in and gain insights on the previous sprint, covering: what was good, what was bad, ideas forward, and actions needed.
It's a simple and straightforward way to ease your team into running sprint retrospectives...and hopefully for it to become a team habit.

KALM Retrospective Format

The KALM Sprint Retrospective Format is used to moderate conversations between dev team members or what is being done and its actual value overall; are goals being achieved? The team covers the following categories: Keep, Add, Less, and More.

5 Columns Retrospective Formats

Oscar Academy Awards Retro Format

Oscar Academy Awards agile retrospective is exactly what it sounds like. Team members are nominated for different awards such as communication, leadership, etc. Also, stories are nominated and voted on for best story, worst story, etc. This is a good way to motivate the team to keep doing a great job.

Starfish Retrospective Format

The Starfish Retrospective idea helps reflect on the previous sprint with structured categories to be discussed and covered, including Keep, Stop, Start, Less, and More.

Retrospective Ideas

Remote Retrospective Idea

The Remote Sprint Retrospective idea is simply a format that is available remotely so that teams can meet no matter where they are!

Spiderweb Retrospective Format

The Spiderweb Retrospective Format might sound scary, but it’s actually incredibly simple, easy and effective! The retro works by contrasting a team's strengths and weaknesses in various areas, which is traditionally done by graphing results along eight different spider legs like a radar chart.

Extreme Pairing Retrospective Idea 

The Extreme Pairing Retrospective Idea is a great way to get your team members talking– especially those team members who may not get along usually! This retro idea asks team leaders to identify any members of their team who may exist on the poles of the team’s shared culture. This could mean minority members of the team, your shyest or loudest members, or really anyone who can be singled out from the larger group. By pairing these individuals with their opposite, there is a chance that the team will come up with some previously unheard of ideas! 

Futurspective Idea

The Futurspective Retrospective Idea makes use of visualization in order to motivate team members to drive towards their sprint goals. This idea asks team members to envision themselves at the end of a successful sprint, imagining what goals they’ve achieved and what it was that helped them reach that point. Then, the team will decide what they can do at present to ensure their goals are achieved in the future. 

Culture Cards Idea

The Culture Cards Retrospective Idea provides teams an excellent way to analyze their shared character and culture. Team leaders will create a number of culture cards that each list one word, like: “Respect,” “Efficiency,” or “Competitive.” Team members will choose one card at a time in order to explore discussions about how strongly the card’s buzzword reflects the team’s culture. If there are cards with great buzzwords that the team hasn’t been fulfilling, they’ll discuss how they can better align with these positive cultural aspects. 

Fun retrospective ideas & games

Fresh retrospective ideas

Retrospective ideas for remote teams

GoRetro Signup
GoRetro Signup!

Choosing the right format for your team is important. In the next article, we will talk about how to choose the retrospective format that is perfect for you and your team.


Image Credit 

Run team retrospectives easily, quickly, and absolutely FREE

get started

You May Also Like

No items found.