Your Favorite Agile Retrospectives. POST THEM HERE AND LETS BUILD THE ULTIMATE LIST by Troy Lightfoot


updated OP!


@andycleff I am buying this MFer immediately and using it as much as possible. Need to chat with you sometime on your experiences with using the game. Awesome!


@troy when I run Anchors and Engines I draw a cloud up in the corner for “thoughts” which are for random ideas you want to try. But your drawing is super pretty!


The exercise is a blast… #dadhumor

And I need to run in more - to break down component silos, and demonstrate the value of both: semi persistent teams (shared vocabulary) as well as dynamic reteaming (shared learning). Please, sir, can my teams have some more slack time?

Happy to chat… and not just w @chrismurman - anyone else here taken the exercise for a spin? Ping here, and we can set up an evening call… maybe even make a podcast out of it?


I love this list so much - many of my favorite retros are already listed on here actually, as the ones I use most often are either very simple 4Ls or start / stop / continue, or sailboat / speedboat, or the speedcar one. There’s one I’m not sure I see listed which teams have found useful on occasion - a timeline retro, where you have the sprint timeline up and also map it to how you were feeling. Can also be called an emotional seismograph I believe. I sometimes use this for project retros but also (depending on the team, or the sprint, or both) it can be good for the sprint retro.

Thanks for all the great ideas - this is an awesome list and some great discussions. :slight_smile:


@Rachel_G - thanks for piling on!!!

So many great ideas!!!

Retrospectives in Distributed Teams - Requirements for a Tool

Any new ones?


My last couple went great. I did the Nirvana Retro and the Catapult retro. The catapult felt a little forced, but the nirvana retro sparked some amazing discussions. I still haven’t taken dow the results from the walls.

Nirvana Retro
I asked teams to tell me what there coding nirvana was. They grabbed stickies and started throwing them on the board. When they had basically filled the board. We started going through them and talking about what they meant to each person.


Each team member then distilled it down into their own personal Nirvana.

Mine was this one.

But truthfully, I thought the other one was so profound. I’ve left it on the wall.

I followed this up with the catapult retro. If you are interested, I can post it.

I loved this retro. We have some really open and heartfelt conversation. We are now trying to reach this coding zen :smiley:


Wow awesome Thank you Will add it


I’m experimenting with Trust and Ownership Retro’s

Starts with an assessment tool, from Pixton’s book… ( and where it goes… nobody knows…

My facilitation notes:

Facilitation Notes.pdf (245.2 KB)

Assessment instruments (which I heavily customize)

Results help me design next steps…


Just found a really cool one today from @scrumandginger on Twitter. Is the original full post. Haven’t tried it yet but I plan on it.

Premise: by Jessica Long

Around the time that the Agile Manifesto materialized, another fast paced and sleeker model of partnering and collaboration was popularizing – speed dating! It only seemed fitting that the two could somehow co-exist, even if just in a playful and platonic manner. This is a fun twist for teammates that have established a good connection but might need a break from the more traditional retrospective ceremony.

What you can expect to get out of this exercise

While you may encounter a lot of baffled looks upon introducing this exercise, you can rest assured that the end result will liven the room and afford heightened relationships. The activity is unique in the sense that teammates will have an opportunity to discuss their thoughts one on one.

For how to do it check out the link above.


Modern agile Retro:


Use the 4 sections of the Modern Agile Values
Review the values with your team
Ask the team to identify things that happened during the sprint that met the modern agile values and post it in the correlating section.
Ask the team to identify things that happened that didn’t meet the modern agile values or how we could improve at these values and post in the correlating section.
Make sure to remind the team to not point fingers and that we fail and succeed as these values as a team.
Record action items and make a plan.


Love this, @troy… Cockburn’s Heart of Agile HoA could be another “4-box” model to experiment with.


Awesome suggestion @troy, definitely going to give that one a try in the future and then perhaps I’ll try experimenting the Heart of Agile one as well @thostaylor! Thank you to you both for sharing.


A new one i’m testing out on Monday:


Came up with a new retro format tonight. Haven’t seen it anywhere so thought I’d post the idea here.


Today a SM and I facilitated the Speed Dating retro. I have to say it was REALLY awesome. It caused an hour of conversation after with some great action items and most importantly the team dynamics were noticeably improved by the end.


Speed dating retro is a fun one! I had to the pleasure of working with Jess. When I first herd the concept I was like WTF! Then I tried it and was like Holy Sh!t it works.


I like this, how well does this work with a mixed gender team? If there is a single female on the team could this feel “unsafe”? What are the risks with speed dating?


It’s just having open discussions 1:1 with everyone on the team! The title is just for run really I think because its in the “style” of how speed dating works.