A retrospective for company practices


Our organization (what I actually joined just 4 months ago) moved to a self organizing flat team structure about 1,5 years ago. I work in a roughly 30 person team where we do multiple, different size projects for different clients.

Now as part of an upcoming team event I suggested that what if we would take some time to do a team retrospective to really dig deep into what in how we do projects really works now, where would we need improvements and what we need to do to improve.

Basically I wanted to ask if anyone would have any suggestions on how to facilitate this for 30 people and any techniques what could help in this kind of retro where we need to consider quite allot of variance in how things are done?


Great question! I would love to hear what others would offer.

Personally, I have used a technique previously to help kick-start the conversation called a “futurespective”. I ask leadership to write headlines or tweets they would want to be written about the organization after we go through the transformation or delivery of a big initiative. By identifying the outcomes we want to achieve.

I lay out the outcomes on a timeline and then ask them to walk backwards. What would need to be true for the outcome to be achieved? In the process, we discuss what isn’t currently happening that would need to change. Makes the discussion more solution-focused as opposed to just talking about problems.

Does that help?


@chrismurman a.k.a. the GROW model https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GROW_model


Another option is something like Lego Serious Play. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lego_Serious_Play
I’d suggest using youtube for instructions as I found the official site https://www.lego.com/en-us/seriousplay not the most helpful.

The only other thing I’d note is that you need at least 4 hours. It provides a great way to really deeply explore any abstracted system.


I haven’t tried this, but thinking about exploring Event Storming https://techbeacon.com/introduction-event-storming-easy-way-achieve-domain-driven-design


I’ve been playing with the I like, I wish, I wonder format that @bradstokes shared: From wish to action retro

I’m finding that it leads nicely into conversations about what’s inside a team’s fence, what they feel they don’t control… and what they’d like to change.


Thanks for all of the great ideas to the question.

@bradstokes Would love to do something with Lego serious play, but just don’t have enough time to prepare it and the time box needed would be to long.

Love this! Thanks @andycleff for pointing it out to me and thanks @bradstokes for sharing! I specially like the possibility to identify what the team thinks they can’t control, specially related to the I Wish findings. Anyway will put this to my tool kit for any retros in the future.

I also like this idea and started thinking if I could actually combine with the from Wish to action retro in a way.
Start with defining the “vision for the (near) future” then run through the I like, I wish, I wonder exercise and at the end see if we can align the identified actions to a timeline towards the visioned goal.


Hello! On our recent program retrospectives with more than 30+ team members, we piloted the Agility Health Assessment tool which has pre-defined questions of which you can edit too to tailor to your team. It start with providing an overview of the survey coming which gives the team time to reflect and put their thoughts to the survey. The team then evaluate the survey results based on team strengths, areas to improve and key impediments. If you prefer more a very interactive session and simplicity the ideaboardz.com privide a platform for retrospective where the team can add idea live online, vote for it and then move it to an action plan.

Hope this helps.


If you aren’t happy w predefined questions, check out lean agile intelligence.


@mccallam2 can tell you more :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Thanks @ellenpb & @andycleff for the tool suggestions. For this event I deliberatly want to keep away from tools and keep everyone focusing on the moment.

But I am actually starting to help a distributed team with people in 2 different Countries and looking for tool options to do retros. I have preciously used Mural, but as that is now not a possibility so maybe I can find a replacement from your suggestions :+1::grinning:


This worked reall well for us, even considering that with 26 persons our reserved time-box was too short. But still we got some really excellent findings and everyone felt that this helped us forward.


I’m finding the teams I coach have extremely short attention spans… 50 minutes tops…

So I’ve taken to segementing retro’s for things like company practices, role-based retros, etc., into parts.

Part 1: Brainstorming (divergent and convergent) (50 mins)
Part 2: Async Dot Voting/Heat Mapping of candidates for change (allow 1 week)
Part 3: Regroup to generate ideas for action items / experimentation (50 mins)
Part 4: Follow up to review experiments (20 mins, every two weeks or so)

And then rinse and repeat every 6-8 weeks.

I’m on my first round… we’ll see if we get any momentum going…