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5 fun retrospective templates to try with your team

5 fun retrospective templates to try with your team

The retrospectives that work are the ones where people feel psychologically safe enough to participate and share their thoughts freely.

If your team isn’t engaging in the retrospective exercise, then there is little chance that you will ever discover the real issues.

One simple way to improve team engagement in your retrospectives is to make them more fun and enjoyable.

Here are 5 activities that are going to help everybody, Scrum Master or facilitator, to instantly transform their Agile retrospectives into a great time.

1. The Three Little Pigs

The Three Little Pigs Retrospective Idea

Do you remember the tale of The Three Little Pigs? 🐷

Separate the ways your team works into the three houses of the little pigs.

Then decide which actions to take so that all of your processes become as solid as the house made of brick! 🏠

This retrospective is composed of three sections:

The house made of straw

This section represents the way the team goes about things, whether it be their procedures or the habits that they find to be risky.

Just like a house made of straw, these potentially risky ways of working could at any moment make everything collapse, and put certain aspects of the team in danger.

  • e.g., A software developer foresees that the technical debt will start creating some issues in the production environment.

The house made of sticks

This section represents the way the team goes about things, whether it be their procedures or the habits that they find to be risky.

Just like a house made of straw, these potentially risky ways of working could at any moment make everything collapse, and put certain aspects of the team in danger.

  • e.g., A member of a product team that communicates often with their customers will find that increasing the frequency of interactions with their customer base could help the team in their future decision making.

The house made of bricks

In this section, we’re going to discuss everything that the team does optimally.

These are the ways of doing things that are solid and should continue.

It’s also a great opportunity to give yourself recognition for the things that you have done well or succeeded in.

  • e.g., A designer could thank a PO for the quality of their recent conversations and the positive impact they had on the designs.

👉 Learn more about the Three Little Pigs retrospective template here!

2. The Genie in a Bottle

The Genie in the Bottle Retrospective Idea

During a journey to the land of one thousand and one nights with your team, you come across the famous magic lamp.

The genie appears and gives each one of you three wishes. 🧞

One for your team, one for you, and one for anything you want*

Then it will be up to you and your team to decide how you are going to change the future. 🌠

This retrospective is composed of three sections:

One wish for you

In your work situation, what would you wish for? More time to focus on your daily tasks, fewer meetings, or maybe a workstation next to a window?

You are free to discuss anything that could help you in your daily life.

One wish for your team

If you were able to snap your fingers and give something to your team, what would you choose?

In this section, you can highlight your team’s accomplishments in hopes of new successes while at the same time attracting attention to the things that can be improved.

One wish for everyone else

What if you could change anything in the world?

This section is totally separate from the retrospective. Discuss a topic that you hold close to your heart; be it personal, professional, or even just what’s going on in the world.

What’s especially important here is to initiate more gentle discussions with the team and put an end to an overly serious work setting.

You are only limited to the capacity of your imagination.

👉 Learn more about The Genie in a Bottle retrospective template!

3. Cupid's Retrospective

Cupid's Retrospective Idea

What if the little angel of love were to come strolling into your retrospective? 👼

A retrospective is an excellent opportunity to give recognition (and show love!) to your colleagues.

Highlight the good work that both you and your colleagues have done and together discuss what you want for the future of your team.

But be careful, Cupid has been selected as the ideal model for Valentine’s Day by the Neatro team. 💖

This section is composed of four sections:

Self-love

Now is the time to love yourself!

Do you think you’ve done this recently?

Go on, get yourself some flowers, nobody is going to blame you.

If you don’t get the flowers, you could instead enjoy yourself by talking about the things you love most in your life and show your team what makes you the happiest.

Good stuff!

Now it’s time to give flowers to your colleagues.

Enjoy this section where you will be able to recognize good work, effort, and great ideas that allow your team to shine.

Put emphasis on the things that you would love to see again the next time and on the things that contribute to making you feel really good in your team.

My wishes for tomorrow

In the spirit of the Genie in a Bottle retrospective, what do you wish for your team in the future?

Keep the amazing work ambiance going, enjoy more coffee, and have more one-on-one sessions between team members.

Share what your opinion could still make the team stronger.

A team to die for

This is the perfect section to congratulate your colleagues.

Offer some kind words to the members of your team that have shown you appreciation, brought you joy, or taken pride in working with you.

👉 Learn more about Cupid's Retrospective template here!

4. The Pirates

The Pirates Retrospective Idea

For those of you that are more adventurous, board your team’s ship and hoist the black flag! 🏴‍☠️

The last sprint becomes your last adventure.

Determine what have been the most precious treasures among your findings and do whatever is necessary to find them on each of your trips out at sea. 🦜

This retrospective is composed of four sections:

The Treasure

What are the most precious things in the way you go about your work?

These are the things that make a huge difference in your daily life.

Because they allow you to be a high-performance team, more resistant or more human, put them in the spotlight and decide as a team the best way to not lose them.

The Cliff

Now that you have defined one or more of your team’s treasures, secure them in the hold and go wherever the wind takes you.

However, be careful of all the risks that you will find along the path and that could cause your ship to capsize.

The cliff represents the risks that you must avoid at all costs.

Keep Course!

Tighten the rudder in this direction and everything will go well.

This section represents your most efficient ways of working, or that bring the most value to your team.

These ways of working are the course that makes your team sail at full speed, so hang on to these!

Change Course!

Errors are human and often unexpected; is there anything you could have avoided recently?

We change course when we realize that we are on the wrong route.

As a team, come back to the practices or the habits that need to be removed or improved to keep your crew efficient.

👉 Learn more about The Pirates retrospective template here!

5. The Zombie Apocalypse

The Zombie Apocalypse Retrospective Idea

Have you watched all The Walking Dead episodes? Have you spent a lot of time playing Left 4 Dead with your friends? 🎮

Zombies have taken over the town, and your team must find a way to get rid of them.

Who are these Zombies? They represent the challenges that your team has had to overcome during your last sprint. 🧟

So choose your weapons, come up with a plan and take back control of the town!

This retrospective is composed of five sections:

The Bestiary

Identify your team’s main enemies.

Whether it be a horde of bugs or a monstrous production release, share your fears with the team.

From there, you can then find the solutions that transform these worrisome threats into little harmless creatures.

Stop by the Gun Shop

Pick the best weapons to fight against your enemies.

Whether it be tools, techniques, or methods of working, be in agreement as a team on the best way to defend your base against all the monsters.

The perfect plan… or is it?

Everybody has a plan before finding themselves facing a horde of zombies.

Come back to the problems that have impacted the team in their work.

Be transparent and ensure that they don’t breed anymore.

The Survivors Diary

Having problems or making mistakes is not a big deal.

What is important is what we get from the learning process.

Nothing beats this section for sharing what makes you grow as a team or as an individual facing these difficulties.

Unity is Strength

You have survived, but this is not over.

Use what you have learned and prepare your defenses for the next time.

What can you implement to avoid the errors of the past from reappearing?

The future of your team is in your hands.

👉 Learn more about The Zombie Apocalypse retrospective template here!

There you have it!

Five new ready-to-use templates to make your next in-person or remote retrospective more fun and engaging.

Discover these activities (and many more!) on our retrospective templates page.

So why not try one on Neatro for your next retrospective! 🔥

Discover Neatro's retrospective templates