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The Pirates Retrospective Template

You are on your way to find a treasure that represents your teams's most precious asset.
The Pirates Retrospective Illustration for Neatro
The Pirates Retrospective Template in Neatro

What is the Pirates retrospective technique?

Agile retrospectives are great moments to discuss team issues and challenges. When creating or choosing a new retrospective activity, you should focus on the context of the team and what you want to achieve.

If simple retrospective templates like Start Stop Continue, Keep Drop Start, or Glad Sad Mad stand out for their intuitive aspect, these activities should not be overused. Otherwise, beware of the inevitable boredom that comes with it! Besides, if you don't frequently vary your retrospective formats, your meetings will lose efficiency. Then, at the end of the road, your retrospectives might no longer serve your team as they should.

If you wish to have a productive meeting that emphasizes team spirit - while maintaining a cheerful environment - the Pirates Retrospective is for you! 🏴‍☠️

Based on Paul Flewelling's Treasure Island, the Pirates retrospective first consists in finding the most precious thing for the team. Then, the team's treasure materializes this cherished element.

Then the team members list everything that worries them in their road to keeping the treasure safe. Secondly, people point out and examine both the good and bad ways of working for the team. Finally, as in any other retrospective meeting, team members build an action plan to help the team improve quickly.

Freebooters, privateers, and buccaneers! Embark on the retrospective activity that will - hopefully - lead your team to glory and riches!

The 4 elements of the Pirates retrospective

Retrospective Column Treasure in Neatro
The Treasure
The most valuable thing that your team should not lose.
e.g., our pair-programming sessions are key to share knowledge and have a clean code base.
Retrospective Column The Cliff of straw in Neatro
The Cliff
What makes the team worry.
e.g., lack of budget to try new tools.
Retrospective Column Keep Course in Neatro
Keep Course!
What existing processes go well.
e.g., our weekly syncs with Marketing.
Retrospective Column Change Course in Neatro
Change Course!
What existing processes go badly.
e.g., we skipped our last retrospective, therefore we did not have the chance to discuss what did not go well in our last Sprint.

Why & when should you use the Pirates retrospective?

The Pirates model will fit perfectly into your team retrospectives routine (whether you have Sprint or Iteration retrospectives).

The primary strength of this activity is to start from what matters most to the team members - it is what is set by the treasure. Thus, while most retrospective activities make it possible to deal with almost all subjects transversally, preserving the treasure at all costs will drive the team's journey here.

The Pirates retro is a fun, original, and compelling Futurespective activity. We recommend using the Pirates technique when your team has just set new goals.

As a result, this retrospective is the perfect opportunity to project yourself into the future while keeping in mind the team's goal. Moreover, using collective intelligence to explore the pitfalls that could stand in the team's way will help shape a stronger team spirit.

Pirates Retrospective Icon
Try the Pirates activity for your next retrospective!
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