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. Originally based on the Speedboat retrospective by Luke Hohmann, the exercise centers around a sailboat as a metaphor for the overall project, with various elements broken down:
Rocks - represent risks and potential blockers
Anchors - represent issues slowing down the team
Wind - what helped the team move forward, represents the team’s strengths
Sun - what went well, what made the team feel good
By reflecting on and defining these areas, you’ll be able to work out what you’re doing well and what you need to improve on for the next sprint.
When to use a Sailboat Retrospective Template?
If you are part of an Agile team, you know retrospectives are fundamental to improving your sprint efficiency and getting the best out of your team. The Sailboat Retrospective Template helps you organize this Agile ritual with a sailboat metaphor. Everyone describes where they want to go together by figuring out what slows them down and helps them reach their future goals.
Use this template at the end of your sprint to assess what went well and could have been done better.
Benefits of the Sailboat Retrospective Template
When facilitating your team’s retrospective, this template is an easy way for everyone to jot down ideas in a structured manner. The metaphor of a sailboat gliding over water can help team members think about their work as it relates to the overall course of the project, and the ready-made template makes it easy to fill in and add stickies with ideas and feedback.
To run a successful sailboat retrospective meeting, use Meeting mode to lead your team through each frame, set a timer for each section of the template, and control what participants can do on the board.
Create your own sailboat retrospective
Running your own sailboat retrospective is easy, and Miro’s collaborative workspace is the perfect canvas on which to perform the exercise. Get started by selecting the Sailboat Retrospective Template, then take the following steps to make one of your own.
Introduce the sailboat metaphor to your team. For some teammates, this may be the first time they’ve heard the analogy. Explain the four components, and feel free to frame them as questions (for example, “what helps us work to move forward?”, “what held us back?”, “what risks do you see in our future?”, “what made us feel good?”). Then, tie the visual metaphor back to how to run an Agile sprint. 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.
Ask each team member to write and reflect individually. Give everyone 10 minutes to create their own sticky notes. Ask them to record their thoughts and reflections relevant to each area of the retrospective. Use Miro’s Countdown Timer to keep things on track.
Present your reflections in pairs or small groups. Spend five minutes each taking turns to dig deeper into the insights recorded on each sticky note.
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 area had the biggest potential impact on the project.
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.
Diagnose issues and develop outcomes. Discuss as a team what your follow-up action plans are for maintaining or building on helpful behavior and resolving issues in preparation for future sprints. Add another frame to your board by clicking Add frame on the left menu bar and annotate your team’s insights and next steps.
Dive even deeper into how to make your own sailboat retrospective – and see examples – in our expert guide to making your own sailboat retrospective.
How do you conduct a sailboat retro?
When conducting a sailboat retro, make a space for you and your team to uncover valuable insights, some of which might not be shareable across your organization. For that reason, make sure to adjust your privacy board settings so that only you and your team can access it, and let them know this is a safe space to share ideas and feedback honestly. The Sailboat Retrospective Template is built for you to run your meeting session smoothly, having complete control of how participants can add to the board. Start explaining the concept of the sailboat retro methodology. If they don’t know it already, guide them through your meeting agenda and set the timer for each section. After the meeting, gather insights in another frame on the same board, and thank everyone for contributing to your retro.
Works best for:
Ideation, Operations, Strategic Planning
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Project Scope Template
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Project Management, Decision Making, Project Planning
A project scope helps you plan and confirm your project’s goals, deliverables, features, functions, tasks, costs, and deadlines. A project manager and team should develop a project scope as early as possible, as it will directly influence both the schedule and cost of a project as it progresses. Though project scopes will vary depending on your team and objectives, they generally include goals, requirements, major deliverables, assumptions, and constraints. Aim to include the whole team when you create a project scope to ensure everyone is aligned on responsibilities and deadlines.
4 L's Retrospective Template
Works best for:
Retrospectives, Decision Making
So you just completed a sprint. Teams busted their humps and emotions ran high. Now take a clear-eyed look back and grade the sprint honestly—what worked, what didn’t, and what can be improved. This approach (4Ls stand for liked, learned, lacked, and longed for) is an invaluable way to remove the emotion and look at the process critically. That’s how you can build trust, improve morale, and increase engagement—as well as make adjustments to be more productive and successful in the future.
4P Marketing Mix Template
Works best for:
Marketing, Brainstorming, Workshops
Product, Place, Promotions, and Price. Starting with this template (and those 4Ps) you can choose the best way to take your product or service to market. The secret is to create just the right mix—deciding how much each P needs in terms of investment, attention, and resources. That will help you build your strengths, adapt to the market, and collaborate with partners. And our simple whiteboard tool is the perfect canvas to create your marketing mix and share with teams and across your organization.
Voice of the Customer Template
Works best for:
Marketing, Desk Research, User Experience
Identifying the voice of the customer is a crucial part of any customer experience strategy. Your Voice of Customer is simply a framework for understanding your customers’ needs, wants, preferences, and expectations as they interact with your brand. Evaluating your Voice of Customer allows you to dive into what your customers are thinking, feeling, and saying about your products and services, so you can build a better customer journey. Use the Voice of Customer template to record answers to key questions about your customer, including: What are they saying about our product? What do they need? How can we fulfill that need? And who is this persona?
Project Planning Template
Works best for:
Project Management, Project Planning
A project plan is a single source of truth that helps teams visualize and reach project milestones. Project plans are most useful when you outline the project’s “what” and “why” to anyone who needs to give you project buy-in. Use a project plan to proactively discuss team needs; expectations; and baselines for timeline, budget, and scope. The plan will also help you clarify available resources before you kick off a project, as well as expected deliverables at the end of the project.