What is a Midsummer retrospective?
Dancing, flowers, strawberries, and sunshine. They’re all part of the Swedish festival Midsummer, which celebrates the longest day of the year.
Since long nights and cold winters are a big part of life in this Nordic country, Midsummer is a cherished time to celebrate light, sweetness, family, and friends.
That makes it a perfect occasion to connect with teammates for a lighthearted look at what made your last sprint, month, or project special – and how it could be even better.
Embrace the free-spirited summer vibes and let’s get started!
Adorning the maypole or hanging over a doorway, flowers and greenery celebrate summer’s beauty and abundance.
What processes and practices bring your team together and help you welcome a brighter future? What technique feels like a good luck charm each time you use it?
Example: Our Friday team lunches are such an uplifting way to end the week. I always leave with such a sense of pride in our team connections and shared abilities.
What’s been hard to swallow, admit, or realize about your work? What bittersweet realizations have come to your team?
Schnapps adds depth and complexity to this retro’s sweetness, so don’t shy away!
Example: I love being a remote-first team, but there’s nothing like in-person collaboration. I think we need to make a point of meeting at the office regularly, even when it’s not convenient.
The longest day of the year is a beautiful thing – but you don’t want your workdays to feel endless!
When you look back at this project or sprint, what felt like it took too long, or was never-ending?
This prompt isn’t about which tasks were actually the most time-consuming. Instead, think about what made time feel like it slowed to a crawl. That’s a sign you weren’t actively engaged and inspired.
Example: Manually updating our time-tracking spreadsheets felt painfully tedious. We need to find a way to automate that task, or make it more efficient.
Swedish strawberries are known for being especially sweet and juicy. In the traditional Midsummer treat Jordgubbstårta, they’re layered with sponge cake and whipped cream.
Finish your retro with a metaphorical slice of this seasonal delicacy. Who on your team deserves some kudos or a word of thanks? Whose hard work would you like to recognize?
Example: Lydia brought such bright, positive energy to our team. No matter what unexpected challenges popped up, her faith in us was so grounding and reassuring.
When to do a Midsummer retrospective
On the summer solstice
Throughout Northern Europe, Midsummer is celebrated in late June, on the longest day of the year. Wherever you are in the world, this retrospective is a beautiful way to tap into those bright, sunny vibes.
Anytime during summer
You can have fun with this meeting template any time you want to appreciate sunny days and warm nights. Try it throughout June, July, and August, and connect over the beauty of this special season.
How to run a Midsummer retrospective in Parabol
First things first, you can sign up for Parabol for free. Then facilitators can start this meeting in Parabol by selecting their team on the right and then hitting that vibrant Add New Meeting button.
Select the Midsummer retrospective template
Jump into Parabol and select Retro Meeting with the arrows, then use the dropdown to select the Midsummer retrospective template. This is where you’ll find Parabol’s library of 40+ pre-made and customizable retrospective formats.
Every Parabol retrospective begins with an optional icebreaker. This box is checked by default. You don’t have to do one, but we recommend it – especially for remote teams.
Start your retrospective with an Icebreaker
If you’re doing an icebreaker, you’ll have a random question to answer. You can refresh it if you want another option, and of course you can create your own if you want.
After the icebreaker you’ll move on to the reflect stage. This is where your team will do all their ideation and brainstorm in silence using the prompts above. All reflections are kept anonymous at this stage to prevent groupthink. Parabol gives Scrum Masters or meeting facilitators the option to timebox this process.
All Parabol sprint retrospectives can be run synchronously or asynchronously. Functionalities such as the timer, voting and multiplayer grouping help you make your retrospective exercise a success and make facilitation easier.
Reflect, Group, and Discuss topics based on the retro prompts
Team members can all leave reflections together, or do it at a time that works for them. Also, reflections are anonymous, and no one can see them until you’re done working on them.
After the reflect phase, you’ll vote on issues to discuss, talk about the most voted on items, and follow up with action items for each topic so you can make continuous improvement a reality.
Parabol will send a summary of the retro when you’re done so nobody needs to take notes.
If you like this template, you might also like other seasonal retrospective ideas including the Easter retrospective, Lunar New Year retrospective, Holi retrospective, Marie Kondo Retrospective, or Rose Thorn Bud retrospective.