If you hold regular sprint retrospective meetings, you know that sometimes they can be a little awkward and inefficient.
Inevitably, there's some people on your team that will talk a bit more than others, while other people on your team will not utter a word (despite your repeated attempts to create an environment of psychological safety).
The reality is that the ongoing feedback loop that sprint retrospectives provide is super helpful. After all, you need to discover ways to improve and grow as a team. Fortunately, that's where sprint retrospective templates can help. The structure that a template provides sets an expectation that enables just enough consistency to allow people on your team to prep and know what they are getting themselves into.
In other words, using a template eliminates a lot of the variance that leads to a sub-par meeting. Now let's jump into the specific examples you can use.
The first option for a sprint retro template is the "start, stop, keep" template (also known as "start, stop, continue." This template is my favorite and is centered around the following questions:
I find this template to be simple, yet extremely effective. In particular, this template focuses on three elements:
If you'd like to implement this template, you can three categories on a whiteboard (or ask these questions in Friday) and have your team fill out areas
This next template isn't my favorite, but should provide more inspiration for how you can format your sprint retrospectives. Consider asking the following questions:
Here's why I'm not in love with this template - it's a bit too polarizing and will stunt the conversations. If you are trying to kickstart the conversation, asking super polarizing questions may not be an effective way to start a conversation. If your team is tight-knit, asking these questions may be a good way to be more efficient though.
Alternatively, you could run this sprint retro template on a quarterly basis, to make sure you don't miss any stuff that might fall through the cracks. We just think there are better ways to understand and improve your agile processes.
The fast sprint retrospective template is the easiest way to add structure to your sprint retrospective meetings. With this template, you can ask the following questions:
These questions are a bit softer vs. the "glad, sad, mad" template and there's a focus on sharing learnings.
This template is known as the Four L's. This is one of our favorite templates and asks the following questions:
The last question is a bit strange, but it's another approach to create an environment of psychological safety. With that being said, we have a few tips below to encourage this:
We hope you enjoyed the templates above! We have a few parting thoughts on how you can make your sprint retrospectives much more effective:
We hope this guide helps you run better sprint retrospectives!
Eliminate friction, enable productive habits, and spend less time on work that feels like work.