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Recipes for better retrospectives 

No need to start from scratch — use one of our templates and jump right in to an effective retrospective


There’s more than one way to run a retrospective.

Small differences in approach could lead to big changes for your team or organization.

That’s why we built templates to help you get the most out of your time.

These templates are based on tried-and-true retrospective formats—so no need to research top retro formats and best practices or work to set up each one. The expertise is built-in, just browse for the one that best fits your goals and go for it. 

Don’t see one that quite fits with your team’s needs? Build your own.

Start Stop Continue teamplate

Start with the basics

Start, Stop Continue

This is the agile retrospective most people are familiar with and a great place to start if you’re new to running retrospectives. In a Start, Stop, Continue retrospective you focus on new things your team should start, old habits or practices that aren’t working and should stop, and the good things that should continue. It’s an excellent way to iterate and refine processes, improve projects, or unify teams. 
Learn more about the Start, Stop, Continue retrospective
Glad Sad Mad template

Focus on feelings

Glad, Sad, Mad

If you’ve got a process that looks good on paper but doesn’t work well in practice, there could be some underlying tension. If you want help understanding what team members are feeling, a Glad, Sad, Mad retrospective can get you there. 
You might have had a project that looked like a huge success—deadlines were hit, stakeholders were happy, etc.—but parts of it actually stressed out or upset team members. If you’re looking to harmonize a team and balance emotion and efficiency, this is a great place to start. 
Learn more about Glad, Sad, Mad retrospectives
Four Ls Retrospective: Liked, Learned, Lacked, Longed For

Learn more with the four Ls

Liked, Learned, Lacked, Longed for

The Four Ls retrospective takes the Start, Stop, Continue method and goes one step further. Instead of splitting issues into positives and negatives, the four Ls allows for some neutral middle ground. The “learned” section can help you identify lessons that affected the project or process, identify gaps in knowledge in the team, and even help you improve onboarding for new team members. 
Learn more about Four Ls retrospectives
Sailboat retrospective template

Chart a new course

The Sailboat retro

If you’re looking for a way forward, the Sailboat retrospective can get you there. It helps a team visualize their project as a boat journey where obstacles, including rocks, wind, even the boat’s own anchor, stand in the way of reaching the goal. This is a useful template if you want to pinpoint the things that slow progress (and eliminate them), and highlight the things that accelerate it. 
Learn more about Sailboat retrospectives
Working & Stuck retrospective template

Jumpstart progress

Working & Stuck

The Working & Stuck template can be deceptively simple. It pushes team members to acknowledge the things that are working (or worked), and the moments that got them stuck—those places where progress slowed and efficiency took a nosedive.
A good working & stuck retrospective gets the whole team out of the car to push it out of the mud. 
Learn more about Working & Stuck retrospectives
Custom Retrospective Template

Do it yourself

Create a custom retrospective

Make a retrospective template that works just for your unique team and their specific processes or projects. Your custom retrospective comes with all the Parabol features you already enjoy, including the social check-in phase, anonymous reflections, asynchronous feedback features (perfect for remote teams), and more. 
Learn more about custom retrospectives

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