Lifting the Veil on the Wedding Retrospective Format

Alex Vernik
Alex Vernik
Engineering Ops Specialist
Posted on
Nov 11, 2021
Updated on
Jul 12, 2022
Table of Content

The Wedding Retrospective Format makes use of the old saying: roses are red, violets are blue, something borrowed, something blue– or however it goes. Either way, love is in the air! 

What Is the Wedding Retrospective Format?

The Wedding Retrospective Format is a simple twist on an age-old wedding tradition, incorporated into the corporate framework. If you think about it, a Scrum team is really a marriage of different wonderful and complex personality types and ideas. Why not christen that marriage with a harmonizing tradition-turned-Agile-format? 

When Can This Agile Strategy be Used?

The best time to run the wedding retrospective, like all other retrospective meetings,  is on sprint intervals or after a full iteration in order to prepare for the next project. Feedback is the most detailed when it's about something that has happened very recently, so a Retrospective should take advantage of that. 

The Wedding Retrospective Format is also flexible enough to be applied during a current project before its completion, in order to readjust things.

How to Run the Wedding Retrospective Format

On a physical retrospective board, or a virtual board like those found on GoRetro, set up 4 categorical columns; one for each line of the 19th century pre-wedding rhyme: "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” Each line will represent something different about the Sprint/Iteration. For example:

Something Old 

This column will evoke feedback on an existing practice within the development process. It can be positive or critical (constructively of course). Discussions will take the direction of potential improvements. 

Something New

This category will ask for an evaluation (positive or negative) of some newly implemented strategies or something currently underway. The discussion will be about how it's going and how to make it better. 

Something Borrowed 

This fun section begs for exploration and the sampling of other ideas. Members will share ideas/strategies/tools they wish to implement from the internet, peers, other teams, or personal proposals. The discussion will assess whether they're applicable. 

Something Blue

Why so blue? This section asks members what their sources of sadness or frustration have been within the process. What's been standing in the way of smooth sailing? The discussion will take a positive angle in order to put an end to the frustration and acknowledge the effort. 

Members will apply sticky notes or virtual pinned comments to their online retro board with their opinions to each category, followed by an organized group discourse about each note. 

The meeting will end with an action plan from the most relevant notes and changes, in order to refine the next process to its highest potential. 

Wedding Retrospective Format board
Wedding Retrospective Format example by Alasco Tech Blog

Who Is This Format For?

This Retrospective is for anyone married into the group. This means that anyone investing love and effort into the scrum team and its ventures should be present and take part. Every team member should share their own  unique perspective and constructive criticism. They also deserve recognition and praise for their efforts - an aspect of Retros that should never ever be left out. 

Other key participants in the Retrospective could be Scrum Masters (duh), managers, partners, clients, etc. 

This format is good for members who like a little metaphor to illustrate ideas and concepts. 

What Makes This Retrospective Format Effective?

The wedding Retrospective takes a slightly different angle than most Retros; it looks to expand experimentally by bringing in outside ideas. It bypasses the usual type of “What went well, what did not, and what just needs to be tweaked" retrospective for a more expansive potential. 

The rhyme is incorporated in such a natural way, it's like it's meant to be. It's even been suggested to incorporate this Retro into one's actual home marriage, and not just in the office! Why not? 

How to Run A Wedding Retrospective In GoRetro

GoRetro is the perfect online retrospective tool for a fun template format like the wedding retrospective. Currently our platform doesn’t support a wedding retrospective board, yet users can create such a board easily by choosing a custom 4 columns template and adding to each column the right title (old, new, borrowed and blue).

choosing custom retrospective template
GoRetro's Board Customization Options

Get Hitched to GoRetro

If your team could benefit from something as useful as the Wedding Retrospective Format, then they’ve got to try GoRetro and its interactive retrospective dashboard. With loads of different templates and customizable options, you can tailor retrospective meetings to fit the exact needs of your development team. 

GoRetro is an amazing tool to turn retrospective ideas and improvements into a strong and beautiful happily ever after! So, let’s say 'I Do' to potential! 

Find out more about this user-friendly, collaborative platform here

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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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