Participants:
2-10
11-25
25+
Prep Time:
Time to Run:
30 min

Retrospective Template

Run a simple retrospective to evaluate and improve your work

A blank Retrospective Template for an engineering team in a sprint
Courtesy of our friends at

About the retrospective template

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.

What is a retrospective?

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.

Types of retrospective templates

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.

Advantages of using retrospective templates

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:

Enhance teamwork

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.

Improve efficiency

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.

Increases productivity

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.

Fosters collaborative solutions and team satisfaction

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.

How to run a retrospective from the template

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:

  • What went well?
  • What went poorly?
  • What ideas do you have?
  • How should we take action?

Keep these key elements in mind when creating the points within your quadrants.

Consider what went well and why

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. 

Brainstorm about what went poorly and the root causes

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.

Make sure the whole team contributes ideas

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. 

Create action items

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.

How to create a Retrospective Template

Run better retrospectives with the right collaboration features

Team retrospectives are easier than ever with MURAL's collaboration features designed to help teams drive impact and inspire innovation.

Sticky Notes & Text

Add ideas, action items, and more as a sticky note or text box — then change the colors and cluster to identify patterns and new solutions.

Real-time Collaboration

Add more productivity and engagement to meetings and calls with features to guide collaboration.

Summon Collaborators

Easily direct everyone’s attention to a specific part of the mural — no screen sharing required.

Tags on Sticky Notes

Customizable labels make it easy to find, organize, and categorize your work in a mural.

Commenting

Add comments and tag collaborators for smooth asynchronous communication.

Video Meeting Integrations

Seamlessly add visual collaboration to meetings with Microsoft Teams, Webex, and Zoom integrations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the main purpose of holding a retrospective?

How do you structure a retrospective?