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3 varied Scrum retrospective methods

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As an introduction to this text on 3 varied Scrum retrospective methods, this quote by Matthias, one, fits perfectly Scrum masters of Eucon GmbH from Münster:

"As a Scrum Master, it is often difficult to make the retrospectives varied and exciting. Usually, this only takes some preparation time, which we don't always have."
Matthias Adames
Scrum Master, Eucon GmbH

For me as a Scrum Master and Psychologist, the variety in retrospectives is important. For this reason you will find 3 unusual retrospective methods here that will undoubtedly give you some variety with a bit of storytelling and team willingness: The Flitzebogen Retro, Sherlock Holmes Retro (for fans of the genre) and the Rocket Retro!

Scrum Retrospective Method 1: Retro Bow

The retrospective method consists of a total of 3 questions, which you can of course also modify or shorten. In principle, it works according to the generally known scheme. Let's start with the positive:

  1. What are our arrows we use to break down resistance? So how have we as a team managed to get past difficulties particularly well recently?
    For example, we noticed that our dailies were extremely important in the last sprint. Information was exchanged there that was central to the success of the sprint. So we should definitely keep Dailys like this!
  2. The archer's concentration and balanced psyche are central to the direct hit. Which efforts, worries and difficulties disturb our inner balance as a team?
    For example, we may have noticed that a higher-level manager twice subtracted a developer from the actual task of the sprint. Although appropriate communication should always run through the Scrum Master. As an action item, it is a good idea to start a conversation with the manager.
  3. The wind is difficult to predict. It could keep us from hitting a bull's eye. What (air) resistance do we have to anticipate and take into account?
    It is becoming apparent that a team member will soon be on maternity leave. Could we organize a replacement now if necessary? Maybe we can get the trainees into the team already now. If we can do that, it's against of the trainees also a nice signal of appreciation.


Of course you can play the metaphor even further here and ask, for example, which tendon the team accelerates. Or you call the whole thing “Robin Hood Retro” and take the beloved one with you into the set of questions that gives the team strength (who knows how the team will respond).

And there we are with a second unusual Scrum retrospective method.


Scrum Retrospective Method 2: Sherlock Holmes Retro

For movie fans and especially creative hours, you can also do the Sherlock Holmes Retro. Possibly. some also know the Harry Potter Retro. It depends on the taste.
In any case, the retrospective method helps to bring up topics in an entertaining way and invites you to think outside the box (speaking of lateral thinking: Here is an extra workshop).

  1. What stones did the evil Mr. Moriarty put in our way?
  2. What support do we have from our time-honored friends Dr. Watson and Inspector Lestrade got - so how did we as a team encounter these stones and what did we do independently?
  3. What support would we get from Dr. Watson and Inspector Lestrade - from each other as team members - wish you? 
  4. As Sherlock Holmes, we naturally anticipate other underhanded plans from evil Mr. Moriarty. What difficulties could that be in the next few weeks? And how are we going to meet them?


Depending on the team, you can of course leave out a question. The last question, for example, focuses on the future and uses techniques of
Pre mortem method - that could be time consuming in a classic retro. So we come to the third Scrum retrospective method, which is somewhat less complex.

Scrum Retrospective Method 3: Rocket Retro

Similar to the racing car metaphor, this is about acceleration and velocity. This time we want to reach the sky and reach for the stars!

The questions can be asked in the past or in the future, for example for planning a project. This time I have put it in relation to the future:

  1. What is the fuel that will shoot us into space as a team?
  2. What is gravity or what are challenges that could constantly pull us down?
  3. The air seems harmless, but the winds in the heights are tricky. What - perhaps difficult to see - resistances could arise on our way to heaven? How can we meet them?


As always, the retro should end with positive thoughts. In this respect, feel free to change the order of the questions or to add to the questions.

More Scrum retrospective methods

There is many Scrum retrospective methods. But I hope that these three are new to you. And you can find another three retrospective Scrum ideas in this blog article - Hearsay, the team acronym and the conflict compass!

As a final note, I have a free e-book with a further 12 varied retrospective methods from psychology. If this could be of interest to you, you can find more information under the following link.

As a Scrum Master and Psychologist I wrote a free eBook - 12 retro psychology workshops on "Team Flow & Mindset Change".

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