Ideas for retrospectives at the turn of the year

Retro Ideas For Christmas, Year-End And New Year

Especially at the turn of the year, there are good opportunities to adapt the format of the retrospective to the Christmas season and New Year. In this article we share a few ideas on how good metaphors can spark creativity and reflection in the team. Have fun getting inspired!

If you're looking for retrospective ideas that work throughout the whole year, I warmly recommend to check out our post 32 kickass retrospective ideas for agile teams.

Create the right setting for a year-end and new year retro

In every retrospective, it is important to set the right framework. Usually, retrospectives focus on the “sprint” as a reference period. Around Christmas time, it can be worthwhile to consciously stretch the frame a little further.

By consciously looking at the entire year, more comprehensive, overarching reflections can arise in the team that otherwise tend to get lost in sprint retrospectives.

In the following ideas for your Christmas, year-end or New Year retrospectives, I always use the whole year as a frame of reference. If you prefer, you can of course simply paraphrase the questions so that they relate to a shorter period of time –, for example a quarter, or a sprint.

Ideas For The Christmas Retrospective

The first two retro ideas are specifically aimed at Christmas as an occasion.

🎄 The Christmas Tree Retrospective

  • Candles on the Christmas tree: What illuminations did we have this year?
  • Presents under the Christmas tree: Which of your wishes have been granted to you (perhaps by a team member) this year?
  • The wish list next to the Christmas tree: Which wishes have unfortunately not been taken into account this year?

🎅 St. Nicholas & Servant Rupert Retrospective

  • St. Nicholas: For which positive qualities and good deeds will Santa Claus praise us this year?
  • Servant Rupert: What negligence might Servant Rupert have noticed this year?

Ideas For The Year-End Retrospective

Are Christmas retro formats inappropriate in your team? No problem. A year-end retro can also be designed objectively without Santa Claus and a Christmas tree:

🔙🏔 The Mountain Climber Retro (Retrospectively)

  • Detours: In retrospect, at which points did we take detours?
  • Obstacles: In which places did we encounter obstacles?
  • Bridges: What support did we received as a team along the route that we should be grateful for?
  • Findings: What preparation tips would we give to a team embarking on the same journey now?

New Year Retrospective Ideas

For the New Year, on the other hand, you can look further ahead in the retrospective. This works, for example, with these retro formats:

🏔🔜 The Mountain Climber Retro (Outlook)

Analogous to the retrospective mountain climber retro, this format can also be used wonderfully for the outlook into the new year:

  • Milestones: What are the milestones on our route this year?
  • Obstacles: What obstacles await us on our route before each of these milestones?
  • Preparation: What preparations should we make / pack equipment in order to master all the milestones for the coming year in the best possible way?

🎆 The Fireworks Retro

  • Toast: Which successes of the past year can toast together?
  • Goodbyes: Which problems from last year would we like to say goodbye to in the coming year?
  • Resolutions: What resolutions could we reasonably make for the new year?

Bonus Tips For Retrospectives

Are Christmas retro formats inappropriate in your team? No problem. A year-end retro can also be designed objectively without Santa Claus and a Christmas tree:

📚 Tips For Moderating Team Retros

Are you still inexperienced with retrospectives or do you not use the format regularly? Then the retrospective at the turn of the year is probably a very good start for you and your team.

If you would like tips for moderating retrospectives, take a look at our eBook for moderation for retrospectives . Here we have compiled all the essential tips for retrospectives in an easily understandable and compact way.

🏅 Practice Makes Perfect

Team retrospectives work best when you make them a regular routine on your team. So that you can easily establish this retro routine for the coming year (without having to invest hours in preparation and follow-up each time) we have developed Echometer.

Echometer offers you:

  • Up to 80% time savings in the preparation and follow-up of retrospectives (Ø 90 minutes per retro on 20 minutes) ⌛️
  • Guaranteed success through satisfaction surveys to the team after each retro (Ø score of> 8.2 / 10) 👏
  • Visualize team development through continuous team health checks 📊

Have a look how Echometer simplifies your team development and makes it measurable and try it out for yourself!

But now I wish you a wonderful and insightful retrospective at the turn of the year!

If you want to shape your team sustainably I recommend to implement a continuous agile team health check. The best way to do so is through our free Agile Team Health Check kit.

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