The Haunted Retrospective


The haunted retrospective is a spooky and easy way to boost the communication of what went well and what slowed the team during the current sprint. Based on the topics addressed during the retrospective, the team agrees on the improvement activities needed for future sprints.

We are walking through a jungle and are dead tired when we find a beautiful house. We open the door and enter the house. It is brightly lit and looks comfortable. So we decide to stay and rest for a while.

Our happy place - sunny days – What went well? What were our happy spots? Say your thank yous here.

We are tired and hungry and start looking for the kitchen.

The kitchen - Something isn't right here. What isn't working for us as a team? What's the recipe for our disaster?

We decide to explore further and reach

The bedroom - Is there a monster under the bed? What scares us as a team? What are we afraid of in the coming weeks & months?

Then we walk towards the

Doll room - The walls have eyes – Where do we need to pay greater focus as a team? What should we get our eyes upon?


The staircase - This is pretty! This is our Time to experiment.. Where do we need to experiment with our ways of working? What would bring us to life as a team? Note down your action items here.

How do we use this?

  1. Set the stage - start the Retrospective by introducing the team to the metaphor. Give them 5 mins. Ask them to recollect and write about their favorite ghost/ spooky experiences/stories. This is our ice-breaker.

  2. Reflect and write individually - Now, walk through each room of the house. Give each team member 10 minutes to individually write down stickies on the board in each section of the canvas signifying rooms.

  3. Brainstorm - Talk about each stickie. This is also an opportunity to ask questions, if any. In case of more than one sticky with the same topics the team agrees upon grouping them together.

  4. Voting - Time for team voting on the topic(s) that needs focus going forward. It could be topics helping the team go forward so they need continue with these to keep momentum, or topics related to what is slowing them down or potential risks coming up.

  5. Find Actions - Based on the highest voted topic(s) the team finds improvements/ action items/ learning lessons for the future sprints in the staircase section. Do not forget your thank you's and the sunny days. You can always find action items (things we should continue doing) from these too.

  6. Retro the retro - Ask them to rate the retro. What should be the theme for the next retrospective? What could we do better? Was it worth the time we invested in?

The retrospective concept is inspired from


Twisha Das image
Twisha Das
Scrum master@Akamai Technologies Limited
I thrive on productive workdays; i love it more when they are a daily dance of delight!
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