you want to create an atmosphere where people can
focus, open up, get to the root cause of their issues, give
a retrospective is not...
● a time to blame people
Regardless of what we discover, we understand and truly believe that everyone did
the best job they could, given what they knew at the time, their skills and abilities,
the resources available, and the situation at hand
● a forum for fixing everything
○ retro often, and make small, incremental changes each time
time for conducting
time for review and implementation
● too many retrospectives fail to deliver value
● too often are boring, painful, senseless
● lack of focus and real participation
how to make it better ?
○ What is the safety level?
○ How experienced are they in giving feedback?
○ What sort of issues do you expect to hear about?
○ Do they need to dig deep into an 1 obvious issue, or do they
need to brainstorm and mix things up?
○ Is an outside facilitator more appropriate?
set the focus
of a retrospective(s)
make sure we focus only on 1 thing covered and everybody understand it
set other concerns aside
discussion → action
● Generate insights
○ Team members write down on post-its and put them up on the board
○ Moderator takes a few min to "aggregate" the issues and mentally sort through
● Plan of action
○ Team discusses the post-its
○ Comes up with action items, if needed
○ (don't have to have an action item for every point--sometimes the discussion is
○ Moderator reviews action items
Quadrant 1: Frown face for aspects you disliked, should be changed
Quadrant 2: Smiley face for aspects you liked, should be repeated
Quadrant 3: Light bulb for new ideas to try
Quadrant 4: Bouquet for people you appreciated