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Retrospective: We are sailing...

Retrospective: “We are sailing…”

The purpose of a retrospective is to inspect and adapt concerning individuals, interactions, processes, tools, and quality.

The template provides a fun, interactive, and easy way for your team to reflect. The team can identify what went right, what went wrong, and what impediments they are facing. Then, based on their reflections, actions can be defined.

The template supports the retrospective phases “Setting the stage”, “Gathering data”, “Getting Insights”, “Defining Actions”, and “Closing”.

The template works with metaphors around sailing:

  • The Boat: It symbolizes the individuals and the team itself

  • The sails, the engine, the wind: Things that helped the team to move forward

  • The anchor / the thunderstorm: Things that stopped or hindered the team

  • Iceberg: Impediments

The time you need depends on the team size, but please plan at least 60 minutes.

How to use the template

Step 1: Setting the stage

  • Use the frame "Setting the Stage" for a small warm-up.

  • Ask participants the following: "Imagine you are a ship. Which ship would you be right now and why?"

  • Have participants mark the respective boat image with a sticky note with their name.

  • Then do a short round where everyone briefly says why they chose that particular image.

Duration: 10 Minutes

Step 2: Gathering topics

  • Use the frame "Gathering Topics”.

  • Introduce the activity: "Imagine that your last sprint was a ship's voyage. Some things move you forward (wind, engine, good navigation) and things that stop you (bad weather, someone has dropped anchor). There may also be icebergs (impediments) that you don't expect."

  • Each participant writes 2-3 cards and places each card in an appropriate position in the picture.

  • Afterward, everyone briefly says what they wrote on the card.

Duration: 15 minutes Step 3: Getting Insights and defining Actions

  • Use the "Gathering Insights and Defining Actions" frame.

  • Copy the cards from "Gathering Topics," discuss how they can be grouped, and then group them. Together, determine the headings for the groups.

  • Everyone votes for the groups. Depending on the number of groups, everyone gets 2-3 votes.

  • Start with the cluster with the most votes: Discuss the topic and define action(s).

  • Continue with the next topic.

Duration: 35 minutes

Step 4: Closing

Summarize the defined actions.

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Britta Ollrogge
Agile Coach
Britta is an Agile Coach with more than 20 years of experience. She has helped dozens of organizations and teams to improve their processes, become more self-organized, deliver better quality and realize a faster time-to-market.

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