agile retrospective templates

26 Refreshing Agile Retrospective Templates in 2023

Table of Contents

Agile Retrospective Templates are one of the core elements for the quick preparation of first-class retrospectives. Thats why I am happy to present you 22 cool Agile Retrospective Templates. Some of them you will have seen before, but many will be new. But before we start with the templates, here is some important information to make your next retrospective a success.

What makes a retrospective successful?

Before we dive into the templates for agile retrospectives, let's take a quick look at what makes a retrospective successful.

As always, there is no such thing as the ideal retrospective, although there are clues as to what makes one retrospective more successful than others. As a company that helps thousands of teams run better retrospectives, we've now gained insight into well over 30,000 retrospectives and have been able to identify commonalities in retrospectives that have been identified as particularly successful.

The most influential factors are:

  1. The most successful day of the week for a retrospective is Friday, although most retrospectives are held on Wednesday.
  2. The ideal duration for a retrospective is between 30 and 60 minutes. Short retrospectives tend to be more satisfying.
  3. Smaller teams hold better retrospectives. – Make sure the number of participants in a retrospective remains manageable.
  4. 7-14 days is the perfect frequency for retrospectives.

If you want to get a deeper insight into the best practices of the 30,000 retrospectives, feel free to read our article on the subject: Analysis of 30k retrospectives

If you're interested in improving your retrospectives, here are some more resources on that:

Now let's get started with the Agile Retrospective templates....

9 Agile Retrospective Templates Classic

Let's start with the "best" templates for agile retrospectives – or at least the 9 most common ones, before focusing on the "Echometer Originals".

If you want to get started with one of these retrospectives right away, just click the button next to it to open Echometer and try our agile retrospective templates for free.

Agile Retrospective Template 1

1. The "What went well" Retrospective 👍

The "What Went Well" retrospective is probably the most popular or well-known among all the templates for retrospectives. It is based on the pattern that we find in many other retrospectives, but simply without all the gimmicks around it:

Open Feedback Questions

What went well?

What went not so well?

How can we improve?

Agile Retrospective Template 2

2. The "Mad Sad Glad" Retrospective 😯

The "Mad Sad Glad" retrospective method has a similar pattern, but uses three typical emotions to make it a little more interesting and also tangible for the team:

Open Feedback Questions

What made you mad? 😤

What made you sad? 😢

What made you glad? 🤩

Agile Retrospective Template 3

3. Start Stop Keep or Start Stop Continue 🔖

The Scrum Retrospective Start Stop Keep is also known as the Start Stop Continue Retrospective. I highly recommend making it the "Keep Stop Start" retro (pay attention to the order). This way you start the retro with something positive which has proven to be a good start:

Open Feedback Questions

Keep: What should we keep?

Stop: What should we stop doing?

Start: What should we start doing?

Agile Retrospective Template 4

4. Liked, Learned, Lacked, Longed for: 4-L Retrospective 📘

The retrospective "LThe retrospective "Liked, Learned, Lacked, Longed for" is called 4l retrospective. I think the reason why is clear:

Open Feedback Questions

Like: What did you like?

Learned: What did you learn?

Lacked: What did you lack?

Longed for: What did you long for?

Agile Retrospective Template 5

5. The Sailboat Retrospective ⛵️

Sailboat Retro is the first image-painting retro in this list of Agile Retrospective Templates. So get ready and weigh anchor: 

Open Feedback Questions

⚓️ Your anchor: What holds us back?

🦈🧊 Your shark/iceberg: Which dangers or obstacles approach us?

💨 Your tailwind: What drives us forward?

🏝💰 Your paradise: What achievement or milestones are we working towards?

Agile Retrospective Template 6

6. DAKI (Drop Add Keep Improve) Retrospective ✂️

DAKI Retrospective, standing for the English words "Drop Add Keep Improve," is a simple acronym that is also classically used as a retrospective method. (More detailed information on the DAKI Retrospective: 2 tips for the DAKI retrospective incl. examples

Open Feedback Questions

Drop: What should we drop?

Add: What should we add?

Keep: What should we keep?

Improve: What should we improve?

Agile Retrospective Template 7

7. The Three Little Pigs Retro 🐷

"The Three Little Pigs" retrospective is based on the fairy tale of the same name, in which 3 pigs build three houses from completely different materials. Of course, the three houses are built different robust. The question is – what material are the results built from in your team?

Open Feedback Questions

House of straw: What do we do that is just holding together, but could topple over at any moment? 🌱

House of sticks: What do we do that is relatively stable, but could be improved? 🪵

House of bricks: What do we do that is rock solid? 🪨

Agile Retrospective Template 8

8. The Starfish Sprint Retrospective ⭐️

The Starfish Sprint Retrospective is especially visually interesting: 5 questions are asked, which optimally fit into the columns of a starfish  can be divided. The Sprint Retrospective "Starfish" tends to take a little longer with 5 questions. 

Open Feedback Questions

Keep: [Optional: Looking at the last sprint / weeks] What should we keep doing, keep as it is?

Stop: What should we stop doing?

Start: What should we start doing?

More: What should we do more of?

Less: What should we do less of?

Agile Retrospective Template 9

9. Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down Retro🤙

This Agile Retrospective Template has a very similar structure to the "What Went Well Retro". Only here a fourth question was added, which makes the small but subtle difference:

Open Feedback Questions

What do you give a "thumbs up" to?

What do you give a "thumbs down" for?

Which new ideas do you have?

Who or what do you want to recognize, highlight positively?

Echometer Originals

Agile Retrospective Templates Your Team Hasn't Seen...

Now you know the best or at least most common retrospective methods. But since agile teams usually like to use a new method on a regular basis (or at least their Scrum Masters or Agile Coaches 😉 ), you can find freshly developed Agile Retrospective Templates here.

And because I happen to be a nerd, we also start with the nerdiest retrospectives first:

Agile Retrospective Template 10

10. You Want Something To Laugh? The Memes Retro 🤓

With the modern internet, memes were born. Meme faces are a big part of meme culture. In this retrospective, we've taken a fun approach to looking back at the last Sprint:

Open Feedback Questions

Me Gusta: What did you like about the last sprint?

4 Real: When did you feel really pranked in the last sprint?

I am watching you: What will you be on the lookout for in the future?

Agile Retrospective Template 11

11. Not Satisfied With The Velocity? The Mario Kart Retro 🚗

Mario Kart is as unpredictable as today's work. You never know when a banana peel will be thrown, but you can mentally prepare for it. This time it goes as both a "futurespective" and a retrospective:

As futurespective

What bananas on the track do we have to look out for?

What’s an upcoming shortcut we could take advantage of?

What powerup could we pick up to ensure our win?

As a retrospective

What shortcuts helped us win?

Which bananas did we slip on?

What was the powerup that gave us an edge?

Agile Retrospective Template 12

12. Reach New Level? The RPG Retro 👨🏼‍💻

The work often feels like a game: With each level (sprint), things get more difficult. But the game character (our team) also develops its strengths to master the challenges:

Open Feedback Questions

What’s our superpower as a team?

What character class is the hero of the last sprint?

Looking at recent challenges: Which characteristics & skills should we level up as soon as possible?

What’s our next game milestone (e.g., villain to tackle)?

Optional: Who recently rolled a Nat 20 and saved the team?

Agile Retrospective Template 13

13. One Piece Of The Puzzle Is Still Missing? The Tetris Retro 👾

Tetris is a challenging arcade game with the goal of puzzling under pressure, so to speak. Sounds similar to work? It kind of is. The corresponding Retrospective Template:

Open Feedback Questions

Which piece fit perfectly into the puzzle in the last sprint?

Which piece did not fit at all?

How many uncleared rows have already accumulated?

When was the last time we cleared multiple rows at once?

What new piece could we invent to fill a gap we have right now?

Echometer Originals

Work-Life Balance Retrospectives

Not everyone is a nerd and keeps themselves alive with computer games. That's why here are more retrospectives. Work-life balance guaranteed:

Agile Retrospective Template 14

14. Come Down A Little In The Evening? The Campfire Retro 🔥

Who doesn't like sitting around a campfire and letting their mind wander?
The only problem is that it's best not to start a fire in your office. But that's exactly why we created the Campfire Retrospective:

Open Feedback Questions

Warm fire: What made you feel good in the last sprint?

Turned to ashes: What did not work as desired and crumbled to ashes?

The shooting star: What do you wish for the future?

Agile Retrospective Template 15

15. Work Feels Like In The Theater? The Theater Retro 🎭

Sometimes work is like theater. There is so much drama! People play a role instead of being themselves. Let's look at our work from the perspective of theater:

Open Feedback Questions

Who was the (tragic?) hero in the last sprint and why?

At which point of the storyline did you get lost?

In which situation did you have stage fright?

Where would a prompter have been helpful?

Which role would you like to play in the future?

Agile Retrospective Template 16

16. New Beginning Needed? The Escape Room Retro 🕵🏼

Escape rooms have just the right balance of "pressure" and "fun", like a good retrospective. If the team feels like it's kind of stuck, it's worth trying to break out of your situation once. Like an Escape Game.

Open Feedback Questions

What puzzles do we still have to solve?

Where are we running out of time?

Where could communication in the team have been better?

Which challenge did we master pretty well?

Agile Retrospective Template 17

17. Not In The Flow? The Surfer Retro 🏄🏽‍♀️ 🌊

Sun, salty water, waiting for the next wave. Surfing can be a lot of fun and look pretty relaxed. How did your team catch the last wave? Are you guys ready for the next wave yet? Let's test it with this retrospective template:

Open Feedback Questions

What made you fall?

When have you been able to show your skills?

What keeps you balanced?

How can you maximize the chances to catch the next wave even better?

Agile Retrospective Template 18

18. You Design A Masterpiece? The Michelangelo Retro 🧑🏾‍🎨 🖼

Michelangelo was a great artist, known for his artistic paintings. You as a team are basically painting a painting as well. How can you ensure that it will be a masterpiece?

Open Feedback Questions

What is the big picture we are working on?

Which details should we focus on in the next weeks?

Where do we have difficulties finding the right color?

Which new brush should we use, which new approaches should we try out in the next few weeks?

Echometer Originals

A Retrospective For Every Season!

When the weather changes, our mood often changes as well. That's why there is now a suitable retrospective for every season:

Agile Retrospective Template 19

19. Want A Fresh Start? The Spring Retro 🌼

A new season is dawning and definitely one of the better ones. The days are getting longer and longer and slowly you can leave your jacket at home. At best, your team will blossom like the plants outside the windows. – Find out with these retro questions:

Open Feedback Questions

The first rays of sunshine: What makes us grow?

Pollen count! What should we shake off?

Not everything is a fresh start: what do we want to keep for the season?

Agile Retrospective Template 20

20 Too Hot In The Office? The Summer Retro ⛱☀️

At its best, a sprint feels like what you imagine summer to be like. There's a positive vibe, the trees are blooming magnificently, everything is working smoothly. Nevertheless, there are some things that can make us sweat:

Open Feedback Questions

What was the ice cream, your favorite moment?

What made you sweat?

What could be a treat to cope with the summer heat in the future?

Agile Retrospective Template 21

21. Times Have Changed? The Autumn Retro 🍁

After summer inevitably comes autumn. A time of change, but also of new beginnings and gratitude. It's best to make sure you're prepared for all eventualities early on.

Open Feedback Questions

🌧🍂 On which slippery wet paths did we (almost) slip?

🌧🌈 What has been your rainbow moment (favorite moment of the sprint)?

🥜🐿 What do we need to prepare to get well through the winter? (Like squirrels prepare nuts for winter)

Agile Retrospective Template 22

22. It Runs You Ice Cold Down The Spine? The Winter Retro 🥶

Winter can be a long, hard and cold time. Or it can be a time of coziness and winter sports. Thus, it offers a lot of potential for creative questions that help you reflect on your agile sprint.

Open Feedback Questions

Snow: What have we almost forgotten under the snow blanket?

Ice: Where do we have to be careful not to slip?

Stove: What warms us up?

Anticipation: What can we hardly wait for?

Echometer Originals

How is your team doing?
Find out with Health-Check Retros!

One of the most important indicators of good performance in a team is team satisfaction. This is precisely why it makes sense to regularly check well-being in addition to project progress:

Agile Retrospective Template 23

23. Health Check Retro: Spotify Squad Health Check 👩🏻‍💻

The Spotify Health Check (based on the Spotify model) is one of the classics when it comes to frameworks to scale agile. The nice thing about it: The Spotify Health Check Retrospective can be carried out in tribes (several teams) as well as in individual teams. 

Note: This retrospective format asks for agreement with the given Health Check items on a scale.

Team Radar Tool Health Check Retrospective
  • Speed: We get stuff done really quickly. No waiting, no delays.
  • Tech Quality: We’re proud of the quality of our code! It is clean, easy to read, and has great test coverage.
  • Learning: We’re learning lots of interesting stuff all the time!
  • Mission: We know exactly why we are here, and we are really excited about it.
  • Other items (customizable)

Agile Retrospective Template 24

24. Health Check Retro: The 5 Agile Values

The agile values and principles belong to the basics of a Scrum course. Only when you live up to them, you can reach higher agile maturity levels as a team. This health check helps you to reflect on the 5 agile Scrum values from a different perspective with your team - and to make them measurable. See below for an impression of the questions asked.

Note: This retrospective format asks for agreement with the given Health Check items on a scale.

Team Radar Tool Health Check Retrospective
  • Courage: We value people showing courage.
  • Respect: We value each other’s ideas, even when disagreeing.
  • Commitment: Every team member is committed to follow through on what they have promised.
  • Focus: We don’t allow ourselves to be distracted from reaching the sprint goal.
  • Openness: We are open to constructive feedback and grow from it.

Echometer Originals

Something different for a change?
Crazy Retro Templates!

Not everything has to be taken seriously:

Agile Retrospective Template 25

25. Alien Invasion Retrospective 👽

What would you do in the event of an alien invasion? Probably it will never happen, but it is almost certain that other unforeseen things will happen. With this you can prepare your team top.

Open Feedback Questions

New species: what things have you encountered that you didn't expect?

Alien-Tech: What took your work to new heights this week?

Armageddon: Where have you seen your work go down?

Agile Retrospective Template 26

26. Drum Roll... The Circus Retrospective 🤡

Clear the ring for the most varied retro, which also takes place in a tent:

Open Feedback Questions

Juggler: What tasks did you have to juggle that made you sweat?

Acrobat: What helped you to align yourself more flexibly?

Magician: What would you most like to conjure up that has been missing so far?

Agile Retrospective Templates: Conclusion

We hope you'll try some of the retrospective templates mentioned for agile teams. I guess it always depends on the agile maturity level and retro fatigue which methods are most suitable. 

Retrospective Templates: Some Final Notes

If you still have retrospective examples or ideas for an agile retrospective template or want to give us feedback... – just write to us.

And if you're looking for a free online tool for retrospectives, you may have seen that Echometer is just that. Have fun trying out the different retro templates in our tool 😄

Most Agile Coaches and Scrum Masters run in circles...

...fixing superficial symptoms. Time to use psychology to foster sustainable mindset change.

"We could be so much faster and better at delivery!"

"I would love to have an Agile Coaching Genius, who simply tells us how to deliver better.”

"Why does it sometimes take me hours to prepare a simple retro?"

"Many team members are afraid to speak up!"

"We discover too many unexpected issues & bugs at a late stage!"

"Why does it sometimes take me hours to prepare a simple retrospective?"

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