Sailboat Retrospective


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

  • The tropical island represents the set sprint goal they have aimed to achieve in their daily work during the sprint.

  • The Wind represents everything helping them to achieve the sprint goal, pushing the team's sails boat to go even faster.

  • The Sun represents all the things making them feel good and happy during work. As a retrospective is a time for team celebration this is a highly appreciated topic to bring up and an opportunity to bring forward kudos to your team friends.

  • The Anchor on the Sailing boat represents everything that is slowing us down an holding us back on the journey towards the sprint goal.

  • The Reef represents potential risks ahead that we see will jeopardize future sprint work.

How to use the Sailboat Retrospective

  1. Set the stage - start the Retrospective by introducing the team of the sailboat metaphor.

  2. Reflect and write individually - Give each team member 7 min to individually write down stickies on the board in the different areas of the sailboat canvas.

  3. Present and discuss in pairs - Have breakout sessions with 2 (or 3) persons in each breakout room where they present their stickies to each other.

  4. Summarize - Each pair summarize the discussion during breakout so all team members can hear what has been discussed. Opportunity to ask questions if any.

  5. Group stickies - In case of more than one sticky with the same topics the team agrees upon grouping them together.

  6. 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.

  7. Find Actions - Based on the highest voted topic(s) the teams agree on improvement action going forward in the next sprint.


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