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sprint retrospective

Which retrospective format is best for your needs and team engagement?

We’re already aware of how retrospectives assist scrum and agile development teams to improve, collaborate, and progress productively from sprint to sprint.  

But which retrospective format is best for your needs and team engagement? 

Below is a list of retrospective formats available for your use as pre-built templates, so you can get started instantly and gain value as quickly as possible.  Select any retro type to learn more about it or get started for free (no limit) and select the retro board of your choice.

Start-Stop-Continue

The start-stop-continue retrospective format works well for developing action plans, reviewing the previous sprint, and assessing product results. In short it asks:
  • What went well? (start or continue) and...
  • What didn’t go well? (stop)

Mad-Sad-Glad

With the mad sad glad retrospective, the focus is on how the team felt through the previous sprint. Teams analyze which techniques assisted them and should continue, as well as develop concrete directions to progress positively.

Lean Coffee

The lean coffee retrospective format hopes to gain valuable insights from the team through open-ended questions and discussions covered by the team itself. With it, the team focuses their time and attention on certain topics of interest.

Sailboat

The sailboat retrospective looks at the big picture by covering the variety of aspects of a project, allowing the team to provide insights on what helped, slowing them down, and developing an action plan to move forward.

4Ls

The 4Ls retrospective template is great for breaking down the previous sprint and projects worked on to look deeper at what was learned, what the team was lacking, and what they would like to see in the future.

Oscar Academy Awards

The Oscar Academy Awards retrospective can help motivate your team by giving due credit to team members for the various areas they shined in during the previous sprint.

Iteration

The iteration retrospective is a reflective format to look back on the previous iteration, where your team focuses on qualitative and quantitative reviews to help paint a bigger picture and assess goals and techniques.

Remote

The remote sprint retrospective is a great retrospective solution for remote teams to run a retro together and improve as a team even while working remotely and not within the same space.

What Went Well

The ‘what went well’ retrospective format is one of the easiest and most efficient methods for your agile team to complete their sprint retrospectives. This retro opens discussions on what went well during the previous sprint, as well as what didn’t go well (or as planned). Post discussion, team members decide upon specific action items to improve future engagement and sprint results. 

Starfish

The starfish retrospective format helps by generating data from team members to reflect on the previous sprint and understand what worked well, and what is to be improved. Its structure is like a Starfish, covering the following categories:
  • Keep
  • Stop
  • Start
  • Less
  • More

3 Little Pigs

The three little pigs retrospective is a fun format with a call-back to the old story of the 3 little pigs, and their three houses made of straw, wood, and brick. It allows team members to discuss the previous sprint and assess:
  • What was unstable (Straw house)
  • What improved yet lacked solidity (Wooden house)
  • What was solid (Brick-made house)

DAKI

The DAKI retrospective format aims to reflect on the previous sprint, named per the abbreviation of DAKI to provide the talking points/categories:
  • Drop
  • Add
  • Keep
  • Improve

KALM

The KALM retrospective format is used to open up a discussion among dev team members and hopefully keep you calm while at it. Its abbreviation introduces the areas up for discussion among all participants:
  • Keep
  • Add
  • Less
  • More

SWOT

While the name SWOT retrospective may suggest a marketing/sales analysis, it is extremely useful as a retrospective format to look at the previous sprint and discuss the following:
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

Do you know or use another retrospective format which you found has been very effective for your dev team and process? Please share with us, and GoRetro may end up creating a new template to help others.

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