A useful one I run every once in while, especially with teams who are new to (or out of practice with) retrospectives, is a Magic Wand retrospective.
It’s a twist on the basic retrospective. As with the basic format you create Doing Well and Could Improve columns on a whiteboard, but then add a third called Magic Wand.
The purpose of the Magic Wand column is to challenge the team to come up with 1 or 2 issues/fixes that if they could wave a magic wand and could instantly fix.
The benefits of this retrospective are:
Keeps team focussed on improvements they can action. The team collates actual improvements for the team within the Could Improve column rather than putting out of scope (i.e. large business issues) in the improve section.
Understanding Allows a cross-functional team to understand each others pain points (i.e. the test engineer would wave the magic wand to get a better Android emulator).
Feedback to other parts of organisation The suggestions gathered under the magic wand column are good to get feedback on, these can be: ideas/concerns over the business roadmap (raise to CEO/CTO), problems with specialist platform tools , etc.
- Some of the Magic Wand items can be discussed and turned into actions. Someones magic wand item might be an achievable acton, once ideas are talked through with other specialists.