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


Glad you like it @hdietrich !


A colleague of mine was just pointing me to the Japanese concept call IKIGAI, which means “a reason for being”.

While this is meant to be tailored for personal development, I feel like you could apply it to other contexts, like teams or even organizations as well.

“What the world needs” and “What you are being paid for” becomes your product…


Wow that’s very interesting! Going to think about how a retro format might work with this. If I come up with something good i’ll post. Thank you


Catching up with posts on Agile Uprising I just discovered this one. There are lot of great exercises already, cool!

I’m listing exercises in my retrospective toolbox at
One of my favorites is the Backpacking Retrospective


Bumping for the folks in the agile facilitator class


Blog post on Scatterspoke about the integral retro:


I’ve used the Modern Agile retro. We ended up spending the next two retros talking only about Psychological Safety. Within a few months of working on that, they were then able to talk about Deliver Value Continuously.

My go to is the Keep Doing | Start Doing | Stop Doing
I especially use this for teams that I’m just starting to work with.

Finally, I find once I get to know a team, I don’t use these games as much. We usually just start chatting as a team about things we observed. I like this approach much better as it feels more organic to me.


I love timeline retros, but I can’t figure out how to do them with teams that are 100% virtual, which is my present situation.


If you can use free tools like FunRetro, you can custom-name the columns to represent different time periods.
I’ve done this with remote teams on a Sprint retros as we as large remote project teams over 18 month period.
The latter have so many discoveries in the timeline retros! Including when the project actually started:)
The columns might look like: before Sep 2017, Sep - Dec 2017, Jan - March 2018, March - May 2018 etc…
It is still incredibly helpful to reconstruct the whole picture.


I love the timeline retro as well and have been struggling how to do it with distributed teams as well. Thank you for the suggestion regarding a way to try doing this @Dana_Pylayeva!

I still see an opportunity to develop some sort of tool here to help with this in a distributed situation. However I’m going to give your suggestion a shot next time I try timeline retro!


I need to do a retrospective on two frameworks. I acquired my team as a Kanban team. They have been working together for over a year, I’m the new guy. They used to do Scrum but went to Kanban because of the circumstances (not important). It is a large team that I plan on breaking into small scrum teams. I have interviewed some of the team individually and some in small groups and almost all of them are ready to move back to Scrum.

My question is, does anyone know of a retrospective technique that will help me pull the team into a discussion on the merits of one framework over another?

I was thinking of doing a kind of Gap Analysis on the white board. Where we are at, where we want to be and the then build a roadmap to get there, but it sure would help if I had some way to make it more interesting.




A suggestion: See this retro from @bradstokes

“I like, I Want, I wonder.”

The way things flow down into control / don’t control… and then into actions is pretty powerful.

Find out why they want to move to a different set of constraints (timebox vs WIP), and to a different set of KPIs (velocity vs cycle time)

Make the underlying root causes - a function of the system they operate within - visible. Expose the system to itself.

Then the solution will likely present itself. Who knows you may end up with scrumban, or gasp… waterfall.


CAIN (Continuous Attention to Individuals’ Needs) — An #AntimatterPrinciple approach to retrospectives

The team is looked upon as a group of individuals with unique human needs rather than purely a homogeneous unit. Continuous improvement efforts are focused on the habitual attendance to each individual team member’s needs (hence the name CAIN) rather than trying to ascertain the needs of the team as a whole.

From a Toyota Kata perspective, the current condition is the number of unmet needs in the team. The target condition is zero unmet needs . The team as a whole will continuously endeavour to reduce the number of unmet needs of the individuals in the team via deliberate actions and experiments identified in the retrospective.



I like this suggestion. It actually fits where I am now. When I asked that question a couple of weeks ago nothing I thought of seemed to apply to the situation. Not one tool in my bag of tricks fit.

It was my second retrospective with this large team and I settled for a Trello board with five categories, the first being “Framework” but cross-functional scrum was all they wanted to talk about. I asked them to name the different skill sets needed (we do enterprise cloud and migration work, there is no PO nor any other business types as stakeholders) - I know they are very silo’d and I wanted that to come out.

I then went from person to person and asked the advantages and disadvantages of “cross-functional scrum” (I kept calling it that :slight_smile:). Most retrospectives I use games and other techniques to get to the root cause of a team’s issues, but this straight forward approach gave me the information I needed and also got the team talking about such things as cross-training and better collaboration.

I like your suggestion and I’m going to find a way to work it into my next retro this Friday. I think it will flow nicely from the last one. Thank you!


Adding a retro I did at a previous client. The “Meme” retro.


  1. Send out link to meme generator: ahead of the retro
  2. Ask team members to create memes based on how the sprint went from their perspective.
  3. Send to SM ahead of retro and the SM puts them all together in a document.
  4. Start the retro with data and allow 5 more minutes for meme creation.
  5. Then one by one reveal the memes that were created during the sprint and at the beginning of the retro
  6. Record action items and add to backlog.


That’s an interesting on @troy! How did that go over with the team? What was the composition of the team (younger developers, experienced folks, etc.)? While I like this idea I think a few folks on some of my teams past and present might find it a little silly hence my questions. :slight_smile:

Thank you for sharing!


was probably one of the best retros I’ve been a part of! Makeup was people in in 20’s 30’s and 40’s. They were having so much fun and laughing but did get to some great action items.

Any chance I get to bring visualization and creativity to the same old “what went well, what didn’t” usually goes over pretty well.


Thanks for answering my questions and letting me know @troy! I’m definitely going to give this a try with one of my teams as think they would have fun with it and get a good action or two out of it as well. Thank you again for sharing!

#84 is really good for collaboration


One of my favorites is similar to Anchors and Engines, and I add a steering wheel (direction), a shark / iceberg (risks), an island (destination or goal), and sometimes other fun elaborations.
Also like doing emoji face to set the stage.
I didn’t see mentioned here. Its a great source for ideas.