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3 ideas for useful and collaborative Retrospectives

by Alexandra Sousa 3 months ago in success
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If you would like to change the format, check these 3 options!

The Retrospective is one of the ceremonies done in several Agile frameworks and, personally, my favorite! As its name implies, it’s the moment where you take a break with the team and look back to the last sprint to celebrate, learn, iterate and maintain continuous evolution.

The traditional format concerns 3 topics:

1. What went well

2. What could have gone better

3. Concrete actions to address what could have gone better

But varying the format of the retro is important so we don’t get to a point where it’s always the same thing and it becomes boring and useless.

Therefore, I will share 3 ideas that you can apply in the next Retrospective:

3 L’s — Liked | Learned | Lacked

Divide the board or board into 3 areas:

Liked — things you liked

Learned — things you learned

Lacked — things you wish had happened or were missing

3 L’s — Liked | Learned | Lacked

Then, ask everyone to put a card in each column and, in the end, talk as a team about what was written. Instead of focusing on what went well, less well, and actions, you have a different version with special emphasis on what went well and what was learned but without ever neglecting potential actions for the future.

KALM — Keep | Add | Less | More

You divide the board or framework into 4 areas:

Keep — something that you think is being done well and that you recognize the value

Add — new ideas or suggestions to start doing

Less — things the team is doing that should be reduced

More — things the team is doing and could/should do more

KALM — Keep | Add | Less | More

Again, the goal is for each element to fill in at least one card in each column and, in the end, talk about what was written. This format has the main objective of analyzing and collecting information about processes that are implemented and their value.

Emoji Retro — 👍 | 👎 | 💡 | 🏆

You divide the board or framework into 4 areas:

Thumbs Up — Things You Liked

Thumbs Down — Things You Didn’t Like

New Ideas — New Ideas to Try

Recognition — Thanks and Acknowledgments

Emoji Retro — 👍 | 👎 | 💡 | 🏆

Again, the goal is for each element to fill in at least one card in each column and, in the end, talk about what was written. This format is slightly different from the previous ones because, in addition to what went well, it could have gone better and new ideas to implement, there is a space for thanks and appreciation in the team.


Of course, some points can always be adjusted according to the team’s needs. For example, you can guarantee in the various exercises (whether these or others) that you always put a space for thanks to maintaining a spirit of recognition and gratitude in the team. The options for formats are actually endless 😃 just fount out what works for your team and their needs.

What really matters is that they analyze the path taken together and prepare for the new one that is approaching in order to avoid making the same mistakes and to be more agile and adaptive.

In addition, it is also a great time to check up on how the team is doing as a whole and what environment prevails so that it can act faster and better. Also, you can use this time to do a team building or an ice breaker.

Have good and productive retrospectives,

Alexandra Sousa


About the author

Alexandra Sousa

Agile Coach, Entrepreneur, Animal Lover, Humanitarian & “Make a World a Better Place” Enthusiast

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