Retrospective - Treasure hunt under the black flag


Retrospectives can be fun! In this retro your team takes on the role of a horde of wild pirates, tells of past adventures and makes wild plans for the future. Are you ready? Well then, light the anchor, set sail!

Remember, a retrospective is anytime your team reflects on the past to improve the future. This retrospective follows the classic 5 stages approach: setting the stage, gathering data, generate insights, decided what to do and closing the retro. This format combines parts of retrospective and futurespective. Please consider the Prime Directive and the Vegas Rule for your retrospective.

How to use this retrospective board

Step 1: If I were a pirate (Warmup / setting the stage)

  • Ask your team: "Which character would you choose for a pirate adventure? What would be your name?"

  • Let everyone write their "dreadful" name on a post-it next to their favourite pirate character.

  • If someone can't think of anything, let them be inspired by parrot "Jonny" (which links to a random pirate name generator :-)

  • Encourage everyone to rename themselves in Zoom and talk like a pirate thoughout the retro.

Step 2: Do you remember? (gathering data)

  • Ask your team: "Think about the past sprint and look at the map - what experiences did you have, what fits the questions?"

  • Give them 5 minutes to answer the questions on their own.

  • Invite the team to combine their experiences into a common story of the sprint. Find a volunteer to tell the story once for all.

  • This should be done within 15 minutes with the whole team.

Step 3: On to new adventures (generate insights)

  • Ask your team: "How do you want your story to continue in the next sprint? What adventures do you embark on? How do you get to your destination? What do you need?"

  • You can follow up on the things discussed in step 2 and/or start with something new.

  • This is intended to be a open discussion. Take notes on the discussed issues.

Step 4: Cargolist (decide what to do - measures and experiments)

  • Review your notes and ideas from step 3. Write a list of possible measures and experiments that will address your issues (if you haven't done this in step 3)

  • As a team determine up to 3 measures or experiments. You can use Miro's voting feature for that.

  • Define an owner for each experiment (and check progress at the beginning of the next retro).

Step 5: Feedback (closing the retro)

  • Ask your team: "How valuable was the retro for you?"

  • Talk about the votes. Why did you find only a small or maybe huge value?"


Stephan Zimmerman image
Stephan Zimmerman
Agile Coach / Scrum Master@Qudosoft
Stephan currently works as an Agile Coach and Scrum Master at Qudosoft supporting teams to master their demanding tasks by promoting communication, supporting personal development and improving collaboration. Together with the teams he strives for self-organisation and high performace. Stephan is always looking for new ideas and impulses for his work.

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