Sprint Retrospective – 8 great templates to optimize results for this Scrum Meeting

Sprint Retrospective – How do you feel about this Scrum Meeting?

The way I see it, you either love them or dread them!

Retrospectives are a regular meeting where the team gets a chance to reflect on their work during the previous sprint and identifies areas for improvement.

It’s a key element in the iterative and incremental nature of Scrum and is a pivoting point on the framework’s goal of reflecting continuous improvement.

Now, as important as the Sprint Retrospective is, its not as easy as it sounds. Specially if you’re mediating it.

The hardest job a Scrum Master has to do is to get their team to actually dive deep into a good Sprint Retrospective. And I’m the first one to admit, that is very challenging to keep it fresh with Retrospectives.

So what do I do then? What advice do I have for you?

It’s as easy as having good templates. Here’s why…

Templates take care of the creative side of the Sprint Retrospectives. Leaving you with only one concern, to listen and draw out conclusions from the meeting.

A step-by-step guide on how to run a retrospective, and some practical tips to help you get the most out of this important meeting.

But one option is not enough… It quickly grows old…

I love talking about the aspects of Sprint Retrospectives, so much so that I spoke at a forum, and answer some questions from Scrum Masters and enthusiasts.

Here’s a short version of the forum, where you’ll hear me talk about the most common issues we encounter as Agile Teams while running this Scrum Meeting, and some useful tips on how to go about them.

Check the video out and give it some love by liking it, commenting and sharing!

Here are 8 different Guide Themes I have available for you!

1. Lean Coffee

This is a facilitation guide for running a retrospective technique “Lean Coffee”. It started in Seattle in 2009, created by Jim Benson and Jeremy Lightsmith.

The goal of this retrospective is to have an open discussion around topics brought up by the team. This template is great becase of the use of the Miro board to add and discuss the ideas that come out of this framework.

This follows along the retrospective techniques you can find in the Retrospective Poker cards and the Retrospectives: A Scrum Master’s Guide book in a new easy-to-use format, recent updates and includes templates for virtual delivery.

2. Structured Brainstorming

This is a facilitation guide for running a retrospective technique “Structured Brainstorming” with a Miro template.

I love this template because it’s what I would call and easy to digest framework.

It stars with dividing the discussion in categories, which I personally think allows for more in depth concentration in the areas that demand it. And it’s all directed and done in the mindset of everyone did the best they could in the Sprint, let’s now find out together how we can improve in the next Sprint.

The goal of this retrospective is to help spark new improvement ideas with structuring the discussions.

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3. Value Tree

This is a facilitation guide for running a retrospective technique “Value Tree” with a Miro template.

In my experience, I’ve encountered teams that work very well together despite having different work and learning styles. And when I stop to analyse, why is this working so well despite the huge differences between the team members.

And the answer is not because they’re an Agile team, but because they have aligned values, and they’re moving forward towards the same goal.

This is why I created the Value Tree, the goal of this retrospective is to align your team’s values and characteristics with values and characteristics of high-performing teams.

4. Question Time

This is a facilitation guide for running a retrospective technique “Question Time” with a Miro template.

This Retrospective is perfect when we’ve been experiencing repetitive problems in a team. To the point where everyone is on the verge or are already blaming each other instead of looking for solutions.

The motto is simple: Question the concept, not the person.

The goal of this retrospective is to allow each team member to ask open questions to each other and to you.

In a way were we all automatically go towards finding solutions.

sprint retrospective scrum meeting - ScrumMastered 2024

5. Anti-Actions

This is a facilitation guide for running a retrospective technique “Anti-Actions” with a Miro template.

The set up for this guide is to have your team define its goals vision by themselves.

With the main goal being to see if you are currently performing any counter-intuitive actions that might lead you to failure. Or are at the risk of taking desicions and actions towards the wrong direction.

This guide is great because it truly defines your teams purpose at the same time that it forces them to make the correct adjustments in their work and attitude!

What else could you possibly ask for!?

6. Three Circles

This is a facilitation guide for running a retrospective technique “Three Circles” with a Miro template.

The three circles allows your team to compartmentalize in stages what is a real threat, a fear and the solution they can offer for each of those.

Dividing this conversation in three parts its great because it allows your team to come out of the excersice, having identified either a solution or with a starting point to solve an issue.

The goal of this retrospective is to identify what Challenges and Concerns the team can Control or influence to focus on improvements that can actually happen.

7. People & Process

This is a facilitation guide for running a retrospective technique “People & Process”.

As Scrum Masters, or Agile team members, you know that your greatest assets are your people. But like every asset, you have to know how use them correctly. And this even applies among team members.

Because everybody should be aware of who they can count on depending on what they need.

The goal of this retrospective is to identify areas of improvement related to people, relationships, process and tools.

8. Events Timeline

Particularly if you’re working with a complex project with a lot of people involved. Looking at a timeline can offer a lot of clarity.

This is a facilitation guide for running a retrospective technique “Events Timeline” with a Miro template.

Looking back on past events its a great way to find future solutions. Which is why this template board is so helpful to me. Because comparmentalizing the order of events and seeing them go, just like history, makes everything a lot more clear.

The goal of this retrospective is to review the last sprint timeline and analyze how events impacted the team’s work.

Sprint Retrospective Meeting

This facilitation guides are a great addition to your Scrum Master’s toolbox.

It gives you all the tools you need to run an awesome retrospective event with minimal preparation and little stress. Not only it makes your retrospective more fun and engaging, but it also focuses on improvements and action items.

Which means… No more boring retrospectives that bring zero results!

And it is ready for remote facilitation with handy Miro templates. Because we know that most of us are mostly working remotely or if we’re working in person, using these online tools are the most effective way to get around idea sharing and recording!

These templates can also be a great way to help your team run their own retrospectives while you are on vacation, or just busy with other things.

Sprint Retrospectives Template

These templates we just talked about are all easy techniques that requires little preparation and is mostly driven by the participants.

My go-to template (especially, when I don’t have time to get ready) is the Lean Coffee technique.

You can run this retrospective when starting out with a new team to test the waters around current challenges and concerns. Because it is a free forum sort of technique, you will be able to test the waters. It can also help you identify any tension between team members or between different teams.

Why do I personally like this technique ?

Lean Coffee is also a technique that the team can run themselves if you can’t facilitate.

difficult sprint retrospective scrum meeting - ScrumMastered 2024

And if you’re looking forward to spicing things up at your next Sprint Retrospective, you have to check out all the Retrospective templates in my store. Remember you can earn Gummy Bears with every purchase and then use them for discounts on most products in my store!

At the risk of sounding corny… Doesn’t that sound sweet?

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Hope your next Retrospective meeting goes swell.

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About the author

Hi, my name is Daria Bagina. I’m a Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org and a experience Agile leader. I help teams and organizations to get the most out of the Scrum and Agile implementation by sharing my personal stories and practical advice.

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