On planning a retrospective

20 Aug 2019 | FunRetro


Many times I get invited to facilitate a retrospective. When this happen, I typically ask a few questions to the person and then decide the FunRetrospectives.com activities for planning my retrospective steps.

Please find below the questions that guide me on deciding the activities and the retrospective agenda.

  1. Is everyone at the same place or do we need an online retrospective board?
  2. How many people will participate on the retrospective?
  3. Is the participation mandatory or optionall?
  4. When was your last retrospective?
  5. What is the context for this retrospective? (Is it a Sprint retrospective? Something really bad or great just happened and you want to focus on it? Is this a new team and we should think about team building activities? Anything major is about to happen and we should prepare for it?
  6. Which areas or themes do you want to focus on? (e.g. people and interactions / process / product features; within team boundaries / outside the team boundaries; weekdays working hours / weekdays non-working hours / weekend)
  7. Which sentence best describe what you want? (A) I want to people to decide upon and sign up for action items, or (B) I want people to feel heart, to share their feelings and to be recognised for the good things.


The answers will help me choosing and combining the FunRetrospectives.com activities to tailor the agenda for the specific retrospective moment and context.


Paulo Caroli

Paulo Caroli is the author of the best-selling book “Lean Inception: How to Align People and Build the Right Product” (the first on a series of books about Lean Strategy and Delivery). He's also the creator of FunRetrospectives.com , a site and book about retrospectives, futurospectives and team building activities. Caroli writes on this blog frequently. Receive the next post in your email. Sign up here .
More than Dot Voting: 3 Alternative Filtering Options to Enhance Your Retrospectives

More than Dot Voting: 3 Alternative Filtering Options to Enhance Your Retrospectives

You should move beyond the conventional method of dot voting to prioritize topics on a retrospective or similar sessions. While dot voting offers simplicity and efficiency, it often leads to misunderstandings due to its binary nature. The article introduces three compelling alternatives: plus-minus voting, reactions filtering, and “Select One and Talk.” By embracing these diverse approaches, you can enhance engagement and gain deeper insights during retrospectives, fostering a more inclusive and enriching team growth experience.

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