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120 Powerful Questions to ask in Sprint Retrospectives

Anders Rojewski's picture
By Anders Rojewski
Published on March 30, 2023
120 Powerful Questions to ask in Sprint Retrospectives

Are you tired of the same old, uninspired Sprint Retrospective meetings? We feel you. We really do.

At Neatro, we’ve been crafting the best online retrospective experience for the last 3 years. And we've gathered a massive collection of powerful questions to help your team reflect, learn, and grow.

Today is your lucky day! We’re sharing some of these questions with you! :)

In this blog post, we've curated a list of 100+ questions that will enhance the quality of your retrospectives and help you unlock your team's full potential.

Whether you're a Scrum Master, an Agile Coach, or a team member willing to facilitate the next meeting, get ready to take your Sprint Retrospective to the next level!

To make your experience more comfortable, we’ve sorted the questions by intent, just as follows:

Sprint Retrospective Questions to Set the Stage

Break the ice and build team spirit with these creative questions. Helping your team members get comfortable and engaged in your Sprint Retrospective has never been so easy.

1. According to you, what color best describes our team?

2. How would you describe your best friend in just 3 words?

3. If you could acquire any new artistic talent, what would it be?

4. What does teamwork mean to you?

5. Tell us about the superhero costume you would wear - yes, you're a superhero now.

6. If you could have any meal with any person, who would it be, and what would you eat

7. What is your favorite type of plant or flower?

8. If you were a presidential candidate, what would your campaign slogan be?

9. If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be?

10. Remember the best retrospective you've ever had? Why was it so good?

👉 Check out our Top 100 Icebreaker Questions for more examples!

Sprint Retrospective Questions for What Went Well

These simple yet powerful questions will help you reflect on the positive aspects of your Sprint. Discover the key factors that contributed to your team's success.

11. What went smoothly during this Sprint?

12. What are some of the most successful outcomes or achievements from the previous Sprint?

13. According to you, why did this Sprint go well?

14. Would you say anything in particular went better than expected? If so, give some details.

15. What can we do to replicate the successful parts of this Sprint?

16. Which tools or techniques were useful?

17. What made you feel proud?

18. What motivated you during this Sprint?

19. According to you, what were the key strengths of our team during this Sprint?

20. What risks or concerns did we successfully mitigate?

21. What positive feedback or recognition did we receive as a team?

22. Has our collaboration with other teams helped us positively impact our performance? How?

23. Have you spotted any positive changes in our team's dynamics or culture during the previous Sprint? Give an example.

24. What did we do well in terms of time management?

25. Did you feel like your role contributed meaningfully to the overall success of the team? Why or why not?

26. Did any past action items help you achieve your work? If so, which one?

27. What other successes or achievements did we experience that we should celebrate?

👉 We know it is cool to highlight positive events. But before starting your retrospective, make sure everyone is aligned with the Prime Directive.

Sprint Retrospective Questions for What Didn't Go Well

Albert Einstein once said: “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”. Keep in mind that sharing difficulties is necessary to improve as a team. Don’t hold back stuff during your Sprint Retrospectives.

28. Do you have examples of challenges or obstacles that we faced? What impact did they have on our performance?

29. What unexpected events occurred during the last Sprint, if any?

30. Can you identify any missed opportunities that occurred? If so, which ones?

31. Did any conflicts or tensions arise within the team? Why?

32. What was your biggest impediment?

33. When did things go wrong in this Sprint? Why?

34. According to you, what caused the problems you had in this Sprint?

35. Did our processes or workflows hinder our progress during the previous Sprint? How?

36. Which tools or techniques were not useful? Why?

37. What made you feel stressed or worried?

38. Did anything prevent you from sleeping well at night? If so, what was it all about?

39. What were some of the misunderstandings or miscommunications that occurred during the previous Sprint?

40. Do you think you could have handled things in a different way? How?

41. Could the team have handled things differently? How?

👉 Introverts might not feel comfortable sharing sensitive stuff during retrospectives. Here are 6 tips to help you out.

Sprint Retrospective Questions to Explore People’s Feelings

Connecting with your team on a deeper level is also a reason why Sprint Retrospectives exist. With this set of questions, people will share their emotions and perspectives about the cycle that just ended.

42. What emotions did you feel during the previous Sprint? Why?

43. What fears or doubts did you face? How did you address them?

44. Were there any moments during the last Sprint where you felt particularly overwhelmed?

45. Did you face any personal challenges during the last Sprint? If so, how did they impact your work?

46. What are you grateful for?

47. How do you feel about the level of empathy and understanding within the team?

48. What specific moments made you feel emotionally connected to the team?

49. On the opposite, were there any moments where you felt emotionally disconnected to the team?

50. Did you receive emotional support from the team at some point? Would you like to tell us more?

51. How do you feel about your work/life balance?

52. Would you say you felt comfortable raising issues during the last Sprint? Why?

👉 Who said it is hard to speak with your heart? Check out the Glad Sad Mad retrospective model!

Sprint Retrospective Questions to Check Roles & Responsibilities

When working as a team, it is essential to eliminate confusion about people’s roles and responsibilities. Make your next Sprint Retrospective a chance to get everybody on the same page.

53. Are roles on the team clear enough to you? If not, could you tell us why?

54. What do you expect, and from who?

55. Did you feel clear about your own role and responsibilities during the previous Sprint?

56. Are you clear about what to expect from the stakeholders?

57. Were there any moments when you needed clarification about someone else's role or responsibilities?

58. Did you feel that someone else's role overlapped with your own? Why?

59. How did you perceive the level of accountability and responsibility team members took?

60. Would you say your skills and strengths were utilized effectively? Why?

61. Were there any moments where you believed your role wasn't being utilized to its full potential?

62. Do you think the team could better utilize each other's strengths and expertise going forward? How?

63. How can the team continue to build on the strengths of each team member's respective roles going forward?

👉 What's the role of the Manager in Sprint Retrospectives? And what about the Product Owner?

Sprint Retrospective Questions to Improve Team Bonding

Who said Sprint Retrospectives are not made to strengthen the links between teammates? Here are some questions to help you foster a sense of camaraderie and collaboration among your team.

64. Who helped you out on this Sprint?

65. Who remarkably helped the team during the Sprint? How?

66. What’s one thing you admire about a colleague’s work this Sprint?

67. What was one moment where you felt like the team really came together?

68. Considering we’re all superheroes, what were the team’s superpowers during the last Sprint?

69. Were there any moments where you managed to have fun while still being productive?

70. What could we do to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for all team members?

71. How would you describe the overall team dynamic?

72. What activities could we start doing to strengthen team bonds and relationships?

73. How could we celebrate successes and achievements together in a meaningful way?

👉 The Appreciation Game is a great retrospective idea to foster team bonding.

Sprint Retrospective Questions to Discuss Value Delivered

Take a closer look at the value delivered in your last Sprint with these thought-stimulating questions.

74. What does ‘value delivered’ mean to you?

75. Would you say you’re satisfied with the level of value we delivered? Why?

76. How do we feel about the way we measure and communicate the value delivered?

77. How can we ensure that we are delivering the highest possible value to our customers?

78. How can we better prioritize and manage our backlog to deliver the most value?

79. What are things we did that bring limited value? Why?

80. Do you have examples of things we do, which will maximize value if done even more?

81. Is there anything that prevents us from delivering more value? (e.g., technical debt)

82. What would help us improve the level of value we deliver? Sky is the limit!

83. How did the delivered value contribute to the team's overall sense of purpose and motivation?

👉 The Starfish retrospective template is a super effective activity to discuss everything value-oriented.

Sprint Retrospective Questions to Share What We’ve Learned

What’s more frustrating than a Sprint Retrospective meeting where you learn nothing at all? Share valuable insights and lessons learned from your Sprint with these reflective questions.

84. Overall, what did you learn from the last Sprint’s events?

85. More specifically, what did you learn about the Product (or the Deliverable)?

86. What did you learn about the team?

87. Is there anything you’ve learned about your organization?

88. What did you learn about yourself?

89. Did you make any mistakes? If so, what did you learn from them?

90. Did you step out of your comfort zone? What did you learn along the way?

91. Is there something you wish you had known at the beginning of the Sprint?

92. According to you, how can we encourage continuous learning within the team?

93. Did you learn anything during this Sprint that will help you gain efficiency for the next Sprint?

94. Do you believe there’s something you could learn from any other team to help you grow?

95. How can we ensure that we keep learning and improving from Sprint to Sprint?

👉 Sharing lessons learned is exactly the purpose of the retrospective template named ‘What Did You Learn?’.

Sprint Retrospective Questions to Create your Action Plan

The Action Plan is the core artifact of your Sprint Retrospective. With the help of the following set of questions, your team members will consider different perspectives to shape the best plan.

96. What’s the easiest thing you could do to help the team improve?

97. What do you think could help the team move forward?

98. Do you see any potential action that could help the team save time?

99. What could hurt the team if we do not pay attention to it?

100. What tools or resources can we implement to help us work more efficiently and effectively?

101. If you had unlimited resources, what would you do to help the team grow?

102. What concrete actions can we take to improve our team's collaboration?

103. How can we better involve all team members in decision-making and ensure everyone's ideas and perspectives are heard?

104. What are some small changes we can make to our daily routines that may have a significant impact on our productivity?

105. What changes can we make to our process to eliminate bottlenecks and increase efficiency?

👉 When building action plans, consider using the SMART goals methodology.

Sprint Retrospective Questions to Prepare for the Next Sprint

No need to be a medium here! Get ready for a successful next Sprint with these forward-thinking questions.

106. How do you feel about the next Sprint?

107. What are the most important goals for the upcoming Sprint, and how can we achieve them?

108. What’s making you excited about the next Sprint? And what makes you worried?

109. What do you not want to see in the next Sprint? Why?

110. Why would you say the next Sprint will be the best one ever?

111. What opportunities do we see in the upcoming Sprint, and how can we capitalize on them?

112. What would a perfect future Sprint look like? How could we experience this scenario?

113. What would a terrible future Sprint look like? How can we avoid this scenario?

114. Imagine we’ve already successfully reached our goal. How did we make it? What led us to this victory?

115. How can we better anticipate and respond to challenges that may arise in the next Sprint?

👉 Have you ever heard of futurespective activities? They’re so meaningful and effective!

Sprint Retrospective Questions to Close the Session

Wrap up your Sprint Retrospective on a high note like a boss with these helpful closing questions.

116. Would you say we've achieved our goal for this retrospective? Why?

117. Now that the Sprint Retrospective is coming to an end, how do you feel about what we’ve been through?

118. If you could go back to the start of our meeting, is there something you’d do differently? Why?

119. Did we create a safe and open environment for everyone to share their thoughts and opinions? Why?

120. On a scale of 1 to 5, would you say your time spent in this meeting has been well invested?

👉 One of the most effective activities to close your Sprint Retrospective is to launch a ROTI survey. Try it now, thank us later.

And this is it! 🙌

With this extensive list of questions, you are now better equipped to facilitate effective Sprint Retrospectives that will generate deep and meaningful conversations.

Remember to keep the focus on action and follow through on your plans for continuous improvement. 

By asking the right questions and implementing the right changes, you'll be well on your way to achieving your goals and delivering exceptional results. 

One last thing before you go, make sure to check our collection of 30+ Sprint Retrospective Templates. There’s plenty of fun and effective activities that will help you break the retrospective routine.

Happy retrospectives!

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