Run a simple retrospective to evaluate and improve your work
Use this framework to reflect on recent work. Evaluate recent work based on what went well, what went poorly, what ideas the group has for improvement, and how the group should take action for next time. This simple structure is useful both alone or in groups.
Sprint retrospectives are meetings held after a sprint review to discuss what went well and what needs improvement. A facilitator guides this meeting to ensure team members understand objectives and provide ideas on how to achieve them.
Templates vary in design from the “retrospective radar,” to “start, stop, continue,” or the “sailboat retrospective” template approach. Scrum masters can choose the most effective template for the use case, or experiment by combining elements from each of them. Effective retrospective templates should be easy to understand and each requires teamwork and collaboration.
Retrospective templates create a framework for evaluating workflow and a roadmap for continuous improvement. These templates make it easier for Agile teams to analyze their previous sprint, brainstorm, and suggest ideas.
Whether your team is online or in-person, having a clear plan to assess recent work in real-time while ideas are fresh is a great way to improve workflow.
Agile retrospective templates are a valuable tool in project management and software development. They ensure teams make continuous improvements and provide a framework to guide discussions, which is a great way to generate new ideas and identify strengths and weaknesses.
Before creating your own, here are several advantages of using agile templates:
Retrospectives are a great way to show a team that their point of view is valued. Team members are encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas by creating a clear framework with question prompts. Templates enhance teamwork by allowing individuals with varying experience and skill sets to pinpoint where a project needs improvement. Retrospective templates require participation from all team members, ensuring no one is left out and all perspectives are heard.
Templates guide sprint retrospective meetings and allow teams to make the most of their time. Without a clear plan, it’s easy for thoughts and ideas to get jumbled but having a visual map of sorts in a template creates a guideline that keeps teams on track and focused on one idea at a time.
Templates keep projects on track. They organize ideas and help to prioritize the actions needed to improve workflow. Knowing what needs to be done, and in what order, leads to a more productive team that’s aware of specific milestones as well as the expectations for how to achieve them.
Decisions and solutions made collectively lead to better outcomes. Without collaboration, these decisions lead to dissatisfaction and feelings that not all opinions are weighted equally. Including team members in these discussions not only keeps them motivated, but gives them the high-level picture for the desired outcome and a way to provide insight that helps to get you there.
MURAL’s retrospective template creates an easy-to-follow foundation for evaluating and improving your work. When you create a template you’ll work with four key quadrants.
These quadrants are:
Keep these key elements in mind when creating the points within your quadrants.
Have each team member work individually creating sticky notes on what they believe went well during the project. These thoughts should encompass what went well, what should be celebrated, and specific call-outs for a job well done.
In this quadrant, your team repeats the above exercise, only this time for what went poorly. This should include where the team faced problems and what held them back. By identifying the root causes of what went poorly, team members can contribute ideas on what to improve for next time.
This quadrant is dedicated to the teams’ ideas. Ideas include improvement opportunities, ideas for future work as a team, and areas of opportunity for the next project. Team members can use the notes from what went well and what went poorly to inspire these ideas. All of this helps form the action items needed in the next step.
Creating actionable steps for improvement is the driving purpose of a quick retrospective. This quadrant covers how the team should take action, including what they should do next, what specific things should change, and what needs to extend beyond the meeting. After identifying what went well and what went poorly, teams can easily create actionable steps that are both measurable and easily understood.
MURAL allows remote teams to revisit the sprint retrospective template at any time if they need a refresher.