Run the same retrospective every sprint and you'll get the same kinds of responses. Different retrospective templates keep meetings fun, engaging, and reveal different kinds of reflections from team members.
These pre-built sprint retrospective templates help facilitators, scrum masters or product owners reduce prep time and make the most of sprint retrospective meetings!
All these retrospective formats can be run using Parabol's free online retrospective tool, which lets teams brainstorm ideas on sticky notes and organize them into themes in real-time. You can also run all of these retrospective techniques on a physical or online whiteboard.
These templates are based on tried-and-true retrospective formats – so no need to research top retro formats, look up new retrospective ideas 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.
Can't find anything that hits the spot? Build your own retrospective template!
In a Start, Stop, Continue retrospective meeting 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. And it's a great place to start if you’re new to running retrospectives.
The Four Ls retrospective format 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.
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 retrospective template if you want to pinpoint the things that slow progress (and eliminate them), and highlight the things that accelerate it.
The Working & Stuck agile retrospective template is great for quick retrospectives. 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 meeting gets the whole team out of the car to push it out of the mud.
If your team just finished a task that felt a bit like scaling a mountain, or walking a long and winding mountain path, this template can help them reflect on the journey. From their perspective at the peak, they can look back at what helped, what hindered and what they might need for the hikes ahead.
Try a Starfish retrospective if you want to add a layer of nuance to the traditional Start, Stop, Continue retrospective template. This gives teams of all sizes the ability to dig into the root causes of their problems or identify issues that need to be solved.
Whether you’ve been working together for a while, faced some major shakeups, or realize that your sprints aren’t as effective as they should be, a DAKI retrospective can reset and realign the team. With a strict focus on practicality, DAKI retrospectives analyze what to Drop, Keep, Add, and Improve about your sprint processes.
Using a well-known fairy tale as a framework, the Three Little Pigs retro can help you assess aspects of a project, process or product that need work. You’ll measure what’s at risk of falling down (the straw house), what could use a little work (the stick house) and what’s rock-solid (the brick house). This is a useful template to prioritize revisions and updates on an ongoing project.
If you’re fresh off a big win and want to replicate that success in the next project or sprint, the Winning Streak retro can help you make it happen. This template focuses on finding the strengths that led to your team’s recent win—the things that went right, and the teamwork that made it happen, so you can keep the wins coming, sprint after sprint.
Focus on sprint outcomes and perceptions of success with a What Went Well retrospective. This quick retrospective exercise makes it easy to dig into what activities helped your Scrum team reach their goals, and what needs to be improved.
Take a structured but casual approach to going deeper on topics with a Lean Coffee. Ideal for when there are issues you didn't get to chat about at your retrospective. Perhaps you need to dig into the root cause of an issue, debug your sprint planning, sprint review, or standup practises, or just ask roadmap questions. Lean Coffee sessions let every team member bring up what’s important to them.
Check the pulse of your team with the Energy Levels retro. Find out what energizes your team and what’s draining them. Use this retro to lift your team out of a rut and find more satisfying ways of working. Measuring your team’s energy levels can help you reshape projects and processes to better fit workflows and individual working styles.
Make a retrospective template that works just for your unique team and their specific processes or projects.
Your custom retrospective format 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.
If you have a good idea, you can also share your custom templates across your organization. Craft the retrospective meeting that's right for your team, then share your custom format with your peers.