Ideas for Agile Retrospectives

Ideas for Agile retrospectives

Looking for ideas to conduct your next retrospective? Has your team moved to remote working and you need to redesign the retrospective? Are you on your nth retrospective and the team is losing steam? Or looking for a booster to ensure better outcomes from a retrospective? This post offers a clutch of curated resources to help with the above dilemmas. We hope these 200+ ideas for Agile retrospectives helps your teams with better outcomes.

For a bit more context on Agile retrospectives, here are a few earlier posts, on what is a retrospective? What are the typical challenges in a retrospective? How do you create value for teams in retrospectives?

Curated ideas for retrospectives

For ease of consumption, we have bucketed the ideas for agile retrospectives into these five categories.

  1. Books on retrospectives
  2. Activities for retrospectives
  3. New ideas to try in retrospectives
  4. Games and cards for retrospective
  5. Online tools for distributed teams

These curated resources are drawn from personal use and recommendations. This list is not exhaustive and am sure there are many more useful ones out there. We will keep updating this list. Do share your recommendations in the comments or our social handles

Books on retrospectives

We recommend you start with the seminal book by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen. We are also recommending books which capture  different nuances of retrospectives. Read on.

Activities for retrospectives

These links carry a collection of 200+ activities that you can use in your retrospectives. Each activity carries descriptions, instructions, and tips to make it work.

Pro tip : find the activity that works for your team’s context and current dilemmas. Not the other way around.

Ideas beyond the regular format of a retrospective

A typical retrospective consists of reflecting upon what went well – did not go well. And what can go better next time. These sure get the teams to reflect on their actions, outcomes, and relationships. Sometimes, the team’s forming stage would need a bit more. Here are a few ideas :

  • Value based retrospectives are an option to consider. Read more here  
  • Stress assessment in a retrospective. This retrospective is a useful step to build the foundations of psychological safety in teams. 
  • When there is a long running project, this tool helps string the many completed retrospectives together, forming a useful timeline to check for progress.
  • Team radar Retrospectives, are an option to reflect on the We-Me concept.
Games for retrospectives

Yes, there are a host of monopoly and uno-card type games designed to help in retrospectives. There even is a subscription box delivered monthly! Explore more below:

Tools for distributed and remote teams

Remote retrospectives are the need of the hour. The design of the retrospective should ensure engagement and effectiveness. Here are a set of tools which can assist in this quest. This list does not contain tools which are generic in nature (like Miro, Mural). It focuses on tools designed for retrospectives. Do explore.

These tools will aid in the journey of seeking outcomes from retrospectives. While tools are useful, it is important to approach reflection from the mindset of courage-curiosity and humility. Am reminded of a conversation with a seasoned Agile coach on tools, captured in the image below.

Image Sheep-wool-gift-bag: credits Pixabay

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