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9 Fun Sprint Retrospective Ideas Your Team Will Love

5 unique retrospective ideas your team will love

Finding ways to spice up your retrospective meetings isn’t always easy. A simple exercise like “The 4Ls model (Liked, Learned, Lacked, Longed for)” can be effective, but over time it loses its luster and can make each meeting feel like a broken record. Our latest icebreaker questions will definitely help spruce things up, but we decided to take it a step further.

Neatro’s innovation lab is charged with creating fun and never-before-seen retrospective exercises to ensure that your next retrospective meeting (and the one after that) is engaging, productive, and memorable.

Let’s dig into our 9 funniest retrospective ideas and how to run each one:

  1. The Rock Band

  2. The Zombie Apocalypse

  3. What did you learn?

  4. Football Club

  5. From Canada, with love

  6. The Three Little Pigs

  7. The Genie in a Bottle

  8. Cupid's Retrospective

  9. The Pirates

1. The Rock Band – Make some noise for the end of the Sprint!

Rock Band Retrospective Idea

This retrospective idea is a perfect fit for agile teams working in sprints that hold recurring retros. It’s also great for conducting events or project post-mortems.

What’s it all about?

Just like after any performance, the team needs to debrief! Give your team a band name (or even better, decide on one together) and dedicate roles to each member of the group. This exercise alone is sure to get people out of their shells, escaping the monotony of previous retros with an fun twist.

How to conduct the retrospective (4 steps):

1. The Scene: describe how the band performed in the last “show” (your sprint). Be objective here. Were goals reached, did everything go live on time, is the Sprint successfully done?

2. Backstage: What did you notice about what went on behind the scenes? For a band that might be equipment set up, and for your team, it might be team processes such as QA. Everything leading up to the “big event” matters in making it successful, and there is always room to optimize.

3. The Road Crew: Get human! Highlight who helped the group and be specific in how they made an impact. This will boost team morale and engagement.

4. The Setlist: Looking back on the performance overall, discuss how you can improve for the next Sprint. This is where your action items come in! Be sure to note them and assign owners for each item to ensure there’s accountability.

👉 Learn more about the Rock Band retrospective idea here!

2. The Zombie Apocalypse – for a fun and spooky Sprint retrospective!

The Zombie Apocalypse Retrospective Idea

This Sprint retrospective activity is a bit more complex but brings a high dose of creativity and energy to the table. Used as a Sprint retrospective activity, this exercise will help your team come to a general diagnosis of your last work cycle.

What’s it all about?

The end of the world is nye, and the only way to survive is to fight off those pesky Zombies as a united group. The team will need to discuss challenges encountered, the tools and processes that helped along the way, why some things did not happen as originally planned and of course, lessons learned for next time.

How to conduct the retrospective (5 steps):

1. The Bestiary: Now is the moment to identify the enemies and challenges the team faced in the last Sprint. It’s important to be honest here! Problems cannot be improved if they are not first named.

2. Stop by the Gun Shop: Discuss the tools, techniques and processes that have proven to be useful for the team. Highlighting what works and what we want to continue to strengthen is as important as raising flags. Load up your toolbelt with the good stuff!

3. The perfect plan…or is it? It’s time to chat about where and when things went wrong. Maybe you noticed that it’s taking longer to answer support tickets? Are your customers eating you live? Lean in to this discussion.

4. The Survivors diary: What lessons have you learned from your adventures? Maybe you’ve noticed that a certain cross-team collaboration was helpful in getting the job done. Whatever it may be, take stock of lessons learned to build strength for the next Sprint.

5. Unity is strength: How can we improve our team dynamics? Those Zombies are only as strong as our weakest team. The better the trust, collaboration, and communication, the more the team can handle. Get real with one another and have difficult conversations if needed. Push through the discomfort, as it will be worth it in the long run.

👉 Learn more about the Zombie Apocalypse retrospective idea!

3. What did you learn? A thoughtful retrospective idea.

What did you learn Retrospective Idea

Testing, iterating, making mistakes and learning from them. This is the bread and butter of Agile teams. Use this at the end of each Sprint or for a quarterly team review.

What’s it all about?

This retrospective activity gives space for each team member to reflect on learnings (about themselves, their work, the team, etc). While it might seem like a traditional retro, not to worry – this exercise brings a fresh perspective on how to surface and discuss these learnings.

How to conduct the retrospective (4 steps):

1. About me: What did you learn about yourself in the past Sprint? This reflection is great for building self-awareness, a domain of emotional intelligence that will serve you as both a colleague and human. Think about what energized you, what triggered you, and where you felt your best.

2. About the team: What have you learned about the team collectively? Have you noticed certain tendencies, strengths, or pitfalls? Think about the team culture or even how you work together under stress? Reflect, share, discuss. It’s interesting to see where there is alignment and differences in perspective.

3. About the deliverable, project, etc: Think about the deliverable itself, and all the processes leading up to it. What learnings do you have from how you scoped the project, the timelines, the execution and the go-live process? Surely there are many.

4. About anything else: Anything goes here. What else have you learned along the way? Shed light on these learnings so your team can begin to iterate and implement action items to improve continuously.

👉 Learn more about the What did you learn? retrospective idea!

4. Football Club Retrospective – smells like team spirit!

Football Club Retrospective Idea

Much like teams in the workplace, sports teams need to collaborate and communicate successfully if they want to win the match. This retrospective idea allows teams to think like team players and review the last “game” to help them improve.

What’s it all about?

Each team member will deliver their match report to help the team identify their strengths and areas of improvement.

How to conduct the retrospective (4 steps):

1. The three points: In a single comment, give a score to your last Sprint (and explain why) as well as 3 facts about this game. For example: Score: 4/5, since we delivered the project on time but there was a bug in the code. 3 facts: The DoD was a bit unclear, the timelines were unrealistic, but the team mindset was positive and collaborative nonetheless.

2. What worked well: Think positive. What worked well the last Sprint? Even if you didn’t win the match, surely there are still moments and small feats you are proud of? Think of the assists and the techniques, beyond just getting the goal.

3. The difficulties: Review what was tricky and might have caused you the match. These conversations might be more difficult but all winning teams take the time to replay the game and catch any shortcomings.

4. To the next game: Discuss everyone’s state of mind and expectations for the next game. Does the upcoming Sprint seem challenging? What’s your mindset going into it and what are you hoping to see from your teammates over the next two weeks.

👉 Learn more about the Retro Football Club retrospective idea!

5. From Canada, with love – This is a fun Sprint retrospective idea, eh?

From Canada with love Retrospective Idea

Transport your team beyond the office walls to the Great North for a breath of fresh air. This activity format will give your team a little taste of Canada!

What’s it all about?

As a team, go through the highlights of your last Sprint or project, reviewing both the challenges and successes you encountered. Don’t forget to cap it off with some sweet words to keep team morale high. Off to Celine Dion land you go!

How to conduct the retrospective (4 steps):

1. More maple syrup: What made your last Sprint as sweet and nice as Canadians? Share some positive observations about the work you did individually or as a team.

2. Feels like -40: What bothered you about the last Sprint? Surface and discuss some pain points that you’d like to see improved. Encourage honesty in a safe space so your team can really confront issues head on.

3. Hockey > all: Discuss what matters most to you as a team. For example, a positive mindset might be a shared value. Then discuss how to live this value meaningfully together.

4. Lost in the barrens: What are your team’s greatest fears? Perhaps there’s anxiety about not reaching a goal, or hesitations that the next project isn’t well scoped. Take the time to raise the red flags now.

5. “Canadians are so nice”: Share a few kind words with your teammates. As we all know by now, a little gratitude can go a long way.

👉 Learn more about the From Canada, with love Sprint retrospective idea!

6. The Three Little Pigs - Review your team's processes.

The Three Little Pigs Retrospective Idea

Do you remember the tale of The Three Little Pigs? 🐷 This fun retrospective idea will take your team back to childhood and help them learn how to be better builders.

What’s it all about?

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! 🏠

How to conduct the retrospective (3 steps):

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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 idea!

7. The Genie in a Bottle - A playful Sprint retrospective idea to talk about the future

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.

What’s it all about?

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. 🌠

How to conduct the retrospective (3 steps):

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

👉 Learn more about The Genie in a Bottle Sprint retrospective idea!

8. Cupid's Retrospective - A fun retrospective idea based on the power of love!

Cupid's Retrospective Idea

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

What’s it all about?

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. 💖

How to conduct the retrospective (4 steps):

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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 idea!

9. The Pirates - Bring your team on a boat trip and find your way to the treasure!

The Pirates Retrospective Idea

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

What’s it all about?

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. 🦜

How to conduct the retrospective (4 steps):

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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!

4. 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 idea!

🎁 I want more fun Sprint retrospective ideas!

We hope you enjoyed our 9 fun retrospective ideas. If you want an extra dose of inspiration, there are over 30 other Sprint retrospective ideas in our collection of retrospectives.

We wish you a good discovery! 😊

Discover Neatro's retrospective templates