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Sailboat Template

Reflect as a team on project goals, blockers, and future ambitions.

About the Sailboat Retrospective Template

The Sailboat Retrospective (also known as the Sailboat Agile Exercise) is a low-pressure way for teams to reflect on how they handled a project. By defining your risks (the rocks), delaying issues (anchors), helping teams (wind), and the goal (land), you’ll be able to work out what you’re doing well and what you need to improve on for the next sprint.

Approaching team dynamics with a sailboat metaphor helps everyone describe where they want to go together by figuring out what slows them down and what helps them reach their future goals. 

Create your own sailboat retrospective

Making your own sailboat retrospective is easy. Miro’s whiteboard tool is the perfect canvas to create and share them. Get started by selecting the Sailboat Retrospective Template, then take the following steps to make one of your own.

  1. Introduce the sailboat metaphor to your team. For some teammates, this may be the first time they’ve heard the analogy. Explain the five components, and feel free to frame them as questions (for example, “what helps us work faster?”, “what’s holding us back?”, “what risks do you see in our future?”, “what’s our ideal destination or goal?”)

  2. Tie the visual metaphor back to how to run an Agile sprint. The visual metaphor offers an opportunity for the team to give constructive feedback and work toward future solutions. Like a sailboat, a sprint also has factors that slow it down, and risks in the face of a goal, target or purpose to reach.

  3. Ask each team member to write and reflect individually. Give everyone 10 minutes to create their own sticky notes. Ask them to record reflections relevant to each area of the retrospective. Use Miro’s Countdown Timer to keep things on track.

  4. Present your reflection in pairs or small groups. Spend five minutes each taking turns to dig deeper into the insights recorded on each sticky note. 

  5. Choose one team member to group similarly-worded insights together. That team member can spot patterns and relationships between the group’s insights. Accordingly, the team can get a sense of which issues (or positives) had the biggest potential impact on the project. 

  6. Vote as a team on what the critical issues are to focus on mitigating and developing. Use the Voting Plugin for Miro to decide what’s worth focusing time and effort on. Each person gets up to 10 votes, and can allocate multiple votes to a single issue. 

  7. Diagnose issues and develop outcomes. Discuss as a team what your follow-up action plans are for maintaining or building on helpful behaviour and resolving issues in preparation for future sprints. 

Dive even deeper into how to make your own sailboat retrospective – and see examples – in our expert guide to making your own sailboat retrospective.

Sailboat Template

Get started with this template right now. It’s free

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