10 templates to set your team up for success in 2024

Written by 
Brianna Hansen
 and 
  —  
December 15, 2023
An image of multicolor fireworks lighting up the night sky

Ah, it's that time of year when the calendar is wide open and we get to decide how to fill it up. 

Right now, teams are all about planning and getting those new initiatives off the ground. What's in store for the new year? What are our goals? And what do we need to make it all happen? 

But here's the thing, folks: looking back is just as important as looking forward. How can we plan effectively if we don't know what's working and what's not? 

To make this whole planning gig a little less daunting, we've got some awesome free templates to help you kickstart your planning and reflect on all the amazing stuff you achieved last year. Remember, it's never too late to take a moment to reflect, plan, and set the stage for a kicka** 2024. Let's do this!

Reflection templates

An organized and thorough retrospective is the best way to guarantee its success. Teams that conduct structured retrospectives find them to be 25% more effective. Huzzah!

 Some questions you should consider discussing with your team include:

  • What went well this year? 
  • What didn’t go as expected this year?
  • Where did we need more support?
  • What tools proved indispensable to us? 
  • What tools were dispensable? 

Useful retrospective templates

I Like, I Wish, I Wonder template

This template helps your team reflect on what they liked about past projects and what they wish to apply to future ones. This “cozy” edition of the classic exercise is designed to help you create psychological safety, synthesize feedback, and record action items to keep momentum.

Use it when you want to:

  • Create a sense of psychological safety before discussing challenging topics
  • Understand what’s working and what’s not
  • Brainstorm ways to improve in the future
  • Synthesize and visualize your team’s ideas
An image of the Mural 'I like, I wish, I wonder' template
Get the I Like, I Wish, I Wonder Template


Start, Stop, Continue template

This Start, Stop, Continue retrospective (also known as Traffic Light Retrospective) is a simple technique that allows teams and individuals to review the way they work. It asks participants to consider what processes and activities the team should stop doing, start doing, and continue doing in the new year.

This template provides your team with the space to evaluate what's currently going well, what can be improved, and what they’re hoping to do in the future. It encourages engagement through fun reactions and a way to gauge your team’s mindset during the exercise

Use it when you want to:

  • Revamp a process
  • Brainstorm ways to improve teamwork
  • Discuss individual performance with your manager or direct reports
An image of the mural traffic light retrospective template
Get the Mural Traffic Light Retrospective Template
Related: End-of-Year Retrospectives: Better Projects for the New Year

Rose, Bud, Thorn template

Use this template to better understand a situation by identifying what is working, what’s not going well, and areas that could be improved. The exercise involves listing out the problem, the positive aspects of the problem (the rose), the negative aspects of the problem (the thorn), and possible solutions to the problem (the buds).

Use it when you want to:

  • Define the central topic or problem
  • Brainstorm with your team to identify what is going well, what isn’t working, and opportunities for improvement
  • Organize and identify themes across your feedback for further analysis
  • Get aligned on next steps
An image of the Mural rose, thorn, bud template
Get the Rose, Thorn, Bud template

Celebration templates

Hey! You! Your team worked hard last year. They deserve to party. And just because 2023 is over doesn’t mean it’s too late to celebrate. December is a big month for holidays, vacations, and scrambling to close out the year — so if you didn’t have a chance to celebrate with your team, now is the perfect time.

Unfortunately, hybrid work has made it challenging to pop champagne with colleagues, but there are plenty of ways you can celebrate virtually! Sending a nice gift, a thank you card, or even a shoutout in a meeting or on Slack can give your team the warm fuzzies.

Useful celebration templates

Kudos Wall template

An image of the Mural kudos wall template
The Mural Kudos Wall Template

It's essential to regularly recognize and celebrate everything the team has achieved and show gratitude (or kudos) to our colleagues. In this template, you will find kudos cards you can use to write complimentary notes to and with your team. Then, you can place the notes on the kudos wall to show off team members’ appreciation for one another.

Use it when you want to:

  • Build team camaraderie
  • Celebrate your wins
  • Give recognition to team members who go above and beyond

Team Feast template

🚨 WARNING! 🚨 This template will make you hungry! Gather around the team table in this fun icebreaker exercise where members can take turns sharing upcoming holiday celebrations and favorite culinary traditions. Mangiamo!

Use it when you want to:

  • Learn more about your team
  • Celebrate as a team
  • Kick off a meeting or workshop with a fun activity
An image of the Mural team feast template
Get the Team Feast template

White Elephant Deluxe template

Celebrate the spirit of the holidays (virtually, of course) with your team by playing this fun (GIF)ting game. But beware of the rules, for if they are broken, a virtual elephant will sit on you.

Use it when you want to:

  • Host a team building activity
  • Build connection among remote/hybrid team members
  • Give each other virtual “gifts”
An image of the Mural white elephant deluxe template
Get the White Elephant Deluxe template
Related: 15 Celebration Ideas for Virtual & Hybrid Teams

Planning templates

Now the fun begins. Get ahead of the new year by making clear and actionable plans and objectives. Align on goals, build transparency, identify resources, and understand dependencies so your team hits the ground running this year.

Useful planning templates

Big Room Quarterly Planning template

Answer the big questions and make the big decisions using this handy quarterly planning template. This offers a space to interact in breakout sessions, build in-depth roadmaps, and connect all objectives together so that all teams are aligned.

Use it when you want to:

  • Prepare for the upcoming quarter
  • Plan with a large group of people
  • Identify dependencies
  • Create a roadmap for the next 90 days
An image illustrating the big room quarterly planning template
Get the Big Room Quarterly Planning template

OKR Planning template

One of our most popular templates to use for planning. Use this template to brainstorm, prioritize, and deliver measurable goals for your team. Developed and used by Mural's own executive leadership team, it includes instructions for two planning sessions and a framework for writing and measuring your OKRs.

Use it when you want to:

  • Define clear objectives
  • Set measurable goals
  • Use an OKR framework to communicate your decisions
An image of the Mural OKR planning template
Get the OKR Planning template

Quarterly Roadmap template

When you need to get tactical, this template will help your team plan work week-by-week for an entire quarter. You can organize your plans for different projects, goals, teams, stakeholders, or tasks and organize them on a timeline.

Use it when you want to:

  • Align on priorities and goals
  • Plan efficiently with any group or team
  • Create a roadmap for the upcoming quarter
An image of the Mural quarterly roadmap template
Get the Quarterly Roadmap template

Annual Roadmap template

Need to plan for the entire year? This handy template will guide your team through the process of developing an annual roadmap. Add key projects and initiatives to the timeline to visually communicate your plans.

Use it when you want to:

  • Align on priorities and goals
  • Plan efficiently with any group or team
  • Create a roadmap for the upcoming year
An image of the Mural annual roadmap template
Get the Annual Roadmap template
👉  Not seeing the right template for you? Explore more planning templates.

Cheers to a successful new year!

Take stock of everything you’ve accomplished this year — the good, the bad, and the ugly. Celebrate the wins and remember that failure is just feedback that helps us grow. But starting off on the right foot is imperative to hit the ground running in the new year. 

Here are all ten templates we recommended in this blog post, rounded up for your convenience.

About the authors

About the authors

Brianna Hansen

Brianna Hansen

Sr. Integrated Content Manager
Brianna is a storyteller at MURAL. When she's not writing about transforming teamwork, she enjoys swimming, cooking (& eating) Italian food, reading psychological thrillers, and playing with her two cats.

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