This week I designed a short retrospective to close a phase of work. The team were handing the work over to an ongoing client team, so it was a perfect time for reflection and a chance to collate advice to take forward.
The team were meeting over video, so the retro was carried out on Miro. They were all very familiar with the tools, so could jump straight into the session.
The overall goals were: to highlight learnings that the ongoing team could take forward, identify things they would leave behind, give the team the space to reflect on what they had learnt, celebrate what they had achieved and give thanks to each other.
It was a four-person team that had worked closely together, so I was expecting a lot of overlap and confirmation. We also skipped a check-in for this one as people knew each other so well. If they were less comfortable, I would add a check-in and maybe more time for discussion.
The retrospective format
Tools: Zoom, Miro board (with timer).
Ahead of the retro
Share the Miro board in advance to give people time to think before the retro.
1. What to take to the next phase and what to leave behind
1a: Things for the hold (5mins)
Ask the team to think about three things that they would pack in the suitcase for the ongoing team to take to the next phase. Write on three sticky notes and put them in the suitcase.
They can be any three things they think the ongoing team should keep or start, but only three things. This helps people to prioritise.
1b: Things you would leave behind (5mins)
Ask the team to think about three to five things that they would leave behind and not take to the next phase. Write them on sticky notes and add them to a pile.
They can be any three things they think that the ongoing team should stop doing.
Discuss the sticky notes on the board (20mins)
Discuss, group, and, if relevant, add actions.
2. What will you be taking with you
Things for your hand luggage (5mins)
Ask the team to choose a bag and add their initials to the tag. Then think about three to five things that they would like to take with them to something else in the future. Add them to stickies and put them on their bag.
They can be something their learnt, a new approach or something they created.
Discuss the sticky notes on the board (15mins)
Thank yous (10mins)
Add appreciations and thank yous that you would like to share with others. If people that aren’t there are mentioned, decide who on the team will share that feedback with them.