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All activities for CLOSE THE RETROSPECTIVE

Feedback Door - Numbers (ROTI) (#14)

Gauge participants' satisfaction with the retro on a scale from 1 to 5 in minimum time
Source: ALE 2011, Corinna Baldauf
Put sticky notes on the door with the numbers 1 through 5 on them. 1 is the topmost and best, 5 the lowest and worst.When ending the retrospective, ask your participants to put a sticky to the number they feel reflects the session. The sticky can be empty or have a comment or suggestion on it.

Appreciations (#15)

Let team members appreciate each other and end positively
Source: Agile Retrospectives who took it from 'The Satir Model: Family Therapy and Beyond'
Start by giving a sincere appreciation of one of the participants. It can be anything they contributed: help to the team or you, a solved problem, ...Then invite others and wait for someone to work up the nerve. Close, when no one has talked for a minute.

Helped, Hindered, Hypothesis (#16)

Get concrete feedback on how you facilitated
Source: Agile Retrospectives
Prepare 3 flip chart papers titled 'Helped', 'Hindered', and 'Hypothesis' (suggestions for things to try out). Ask participants to help you grow and improve as a facilitator by writing you sticky notes and signing their initials so that you may ask questions later.

SaMoLo (More of, Same of, Less of) (#17)

Get course corrections on what you do as a facilitator
Source: Fairly good practices
Divide a flip chart in 3 sections titled 'More of', 'Same of', and 'Less of'. Ask participants to nudge your behaviour into the right direction: Write stickies with what you should do more, less and what is exactly right. Read out and briefly discuss the stickies section-wise.

Feedback Door - Smilies (#23)

Gauge participants' satisfaction with the retro in minimum time using smilies
Source: Boeffi
Draw a ':)', ':|', and ':(' on a sheet of paper and tape it against the door. When ending the retrospective, ask your participants to mark their satisfaction with the session with an 'x' below the applicable smily.

Shower of Appreciation (#34)

Listen to others talk behind your back - and only the good stuff!
Source: Ralph Miarka
Form groups of 3. Each group arranges their chairs so that 2 chairs face each other and the third one has its back turned, like this: >^<. The two people in the chairs that face each other talk about the third person for 2 minutes. They may only say positive things and nothing that was said may be reduced in meaning by anything said afterwards.
Hold 3 rounds so that everyone sits in the shower seat once.

Plus & Delta (#40)

Each participant notes 1 thing they like and 1 thing they'd change about the retro
Source: Rob Bowley
Prepare a flip chart with 2 columns: Head them with 'Plus' and 'Delta'. Ask each participant to write down 1 aspect of the retrospective they liked and 1 thing they would change (on different index cards). Post the index cards and walk through them briefly to clarify the exact meaning and detect the majority's preference when notes from different people point into opposite directions.

Take a Stand - Closing (#44)

Participants take a stand, indicating their satisfaction with the retrospective
Source: Corinna Baldauf, inspired by Christoph Pater
Create a big scale (i.e. a long line) on the floor with masking tape. Mark one end as 'Great' and the other as 'Bad'. Let participants stand on the scale according to their satisfaction with the retrospective. Psychologically, taking a stand physically is different from just saying something. It's more 'real'.
See activity #43 on how to begin the retrospective with the same scale.

Pleased & Surprised (#45)

What pleased and / or surprised participants in the retrospective
Source: Unknown
Just make a quick round around the group and let each participant point out one finding of the retrospective that either surprised or pleased them (or both).

Constellation - Closing (#53)

Let the participants rate the retrospective by moving around
Source: Lyssa Adkins via Luis Goncalves, Christoph Pater
Place a circle or sphere in the middle of a free space. Let the team gather around it. Explain that the circle is the center of approval: If they agree to a statement they should move towards it, if they don't, they should move as far outwards as their degree of disagreement. Now read out statements, e.g.
  • We talked about what was most important to me
  • I spoke openly today
  • I think the time of the retrospective was well invested
  • I am confident we will carry out our action items
Watch the constellations unfold. Any surprising constellations?
This can also be an opening activity (#52).

Say it with Flowers (#57)

Each team member appreciates someone else with a flower
Source: Nick Oostvogels
Buy one flower for each team member and reveal them at the end of the retrospective. Everyone gets to give someone else a flower as a token of their appreciation.

AHA! (#60)

Throw a ball around and uncover learning
Source: Catherine Louis and Stefan Haas via Amber Haley
Throw a ball (e.g. koosh ball) around the team and uncover positive thoughts and learning experiences. Give out a question at the beginning that people answer when they catch the ball, such as:
  • One thing I learned in the last iteration
  • One awesome thing someone else did for me
Depending on the question it might uncover events that are bugging people. If any alarm bells go off, dig a little deeper. With the '1 nice thing'-question you usually close on a positive note.

Take Aways (#67)

Capture what participants learned during the retro
Source: Judith Andresen
Everyone writes a sticky note with the most remarkable thing they learned during the retro. Put the notes against the door. In turn each participant reads out their own note.

3 for 1 - Closing: Was everyone heard? (#71)

Check satisfaction with retro results, fair distribution of talk time &amp; mood
Source: Judith Andresen
Prepare a flip chart with a co-ordinate plane on it. The Y-axis is 'Satisfaction with retro result'. The X-axis is 'Equal distribution of talking time' (the more equal, the farther to the right). Ask each participant to mark where their satisfaction and perceived talking time balance intersect - with an emoticon showing their mood (not just a dot). Discuss talking time inequalities (and extreme moods).

Follow Through (#77)

What's the probability of action items getting implemented?
Source: Judith Andresen
Let everyone draw an emoticon of their current mood on a sticky note. Then draw a scale on a flip chart, labeled 'Probability we'll implement our action items'. Mark '0%' on the left and '100%' on the right. Ask everyone to place their sticky according to their confidence in their follow through as a team.
Discuss interesting results such as low probability or bad mood.

Retro Dart (#83)

Check if you hit bull's eye on important issues
Source: Philipp Flenker
Draw one or several dartboards on a flip chart. Write a question next to each dartboard, e.g.
  • We talked about what's important to me
  • I spoke openly
  • I'm confident we'll improve next iteration
Participants mark their opinion with a sticky. Smack in the middle is 100% agreement. Outside the disc is 0% agreement.

Motivational Poster (#92)

Turn action items into posters to improve visibility \& follow-through
Source: Romain Trocherie
Take each of your action items and create a funny poster for it (see the photos for examples).
  1. Pick an image
  2. Agree on a title
  3. Write a self-mocking description
Print your master piece as big as possible (A4 at the very least) and display it prominently.

Endless Blessings (#101)

Bless the upcoming iteration with all your good wishes
Source: Bernie DeKoven via Diana Larsen
Stand in a circle. Explain that you will collect good wishes for the next iteration, building on each other's blessings. If you do it for the first time, start the activity by giving the first blessing. Then go around the circle to add to your blessing. Skip over people who can't think of anything. When your losing steam, ask for another blessing and start another round. Continue until no one can think of blessings anymore.

Example:
You start with 'May we finish all stories next iteration'. Your neighbor continues with 'And may they delight our customers'. Their neighbor wishes 'And may we be able to automatically test all new features'. And so on until ideas for additions to this blessing run out.
Then someone else can start a new round, e.g. with 'May we write beautiful code next iteration'.

You and Me (#102)

Recognize the efforts of teammates and self-improve a little
Source: Mike B.
Put up 2 columns on a white board: 'Thank you!' and 'My action'.Ask everybody to write one sticky per column: Something they want to thank another teammate for doing; and something they want to change about their own behavior in the next iteration. It can be something really small. Once everyone is finisihed, do a round for each person to present their stickies and post them to the board.

Note to Self (#104)

Remind yourself of your good intentions
Source: Fun Retrospectives
Thinking back about the discussions, everybody writes a reminder for her- or himself about a change in their own behaviour they want to try during the next iteration. It's for quiet self reflection and is not shared with the group. They take their respective sticky notes with them to their desktop and put it in a place they will look at often.

Know your neighbour - Closing (#109)

How does your left neighbour feel about the retrospective
Source: Inspired by Fabián Lewkowicz
Ask each team member to guess if their left neighbour thinks this retrospective was a good use of their time and why. Their neighbour confirms or corrects their guess.

If you have set the stage with activity #108, make sure to go around the other direction this time.

Appreciation Postcards (#112)

Team members write appreciative postcards for later delivery
Source: Philip Rogers
Hand out blank postcards. Each team member silently writes a postcard to another team member, thanking them for something they did. They can write as many postcards as they like, and they can address them either to individuals or to multiple people. Collect all postcards. Consider using envelopes with the name on for privacy. Deliver the cards throughout the next iteration to make someone's day.

Variation: Use normal paper and let participants fold the paper into little cranes for some origami fun. (Suggestion by Virginia Brassesco)

My Team is Awesome (#120)

Acknowledge what's awesome about your team
Source: Jesus Mendez
Give each team member a piece of paper and ask them to write down the following text:
'My team is awesome because _______________
and that makes me feel __________________'

Everyone fills out the blanks for themselves and signs below. When everyone is finished, put up the sheets on a wall. A volunteer reads out the sheets and the team celebrates by cheering or applausing. Take some time to review and share observations. Take a picture to remind the team how awesome it feels to be part of the team.

(#)


Source:
Retromat contains 127 activities, allowing for 8349005 combinations (25x30x22x22x23+5) and we are constantly adding more.

Created by Corinna Baldauf

Corinna wished for something like Retromat during her Scrummaster years. Eventually she just built it herself in the hope that it would be useful to others, too. Any questions, suggestions or encouragement? You can email her or follow her on Twitter. If you like Retromat you might also like Corinna's blog and her summaries on Wall-Skills.com.

Co-developed by Timon Fiddike

As developer, product owner, scrum master and agile coach, Timon has been a Retromat user and fan for more than three years. He had quite a few feature ideas. In 2016 he started to build some of those features himself. You can email him or follow him on Twitter.