What? So What? Now What? Template

Engage in critical reflection about an experience.

Use the What? So What? Now What? framework to engage in critical reflection about a past experience. This method is often used to help people process what they’ve learned in a classroom or presentation, but can also be applied in a work setting such as during a sprint review or retrospective. Start with the “What?” phase. Replay the event in your mind, trying to be as objective as possible. Then conduct the “So What?” phase. How was this experience important or what did you learn? Finally, consider the “Now What?” phase. How have you changed or grown through this experience? How will your future behavior be affected?

About the What? So What? Now What? Template

How do you use the What? So What? Now What? template?

You can use the What? So What? Now What? Template to guide yourself or a group through a reflection exercise. Begin by thinking of a specific event or situation. During each phase, ask guiding questions to help participants reflect on their thoughts and experience. When conducting this exercise with a group, you can assign different colored sticky notes to each participant so it’s easy to keep track of different people’s responses. If you’re not all in the same location, you can use video chat to check in at the end of each phase.

Why use the What? So What? Now What? framework?

When you engage in the What? So What? Now What? framework with others, you can discover gaps in your understanding and learn from others’ perspectives. Some teams following Scrum workflows find it especially beneficial during sprint reviews and retrospectives, but this approach is simple enough that it can be applied to nearly any situation when you want to encourage reflection.

What are some examples of What? So What? Now What? Questions?

To answer “What?” you can ask the following questions, which detail the experience.

  • What happened?

  • What did you observe?

  • What role did you play?

  • What were your expectations?

  • What part of the experience did you find challenging?

  • What part of the experience did you find exciting?

  • What did you find surprising?

  • What did you learn?

To answer “So What?” you can ask the following questions, which detail why the experience was important.

  • What questions are you asking now that you’ve had this experience?

  • How did this event make an impact on you?

  • What did this experience make you feel?

  • What conclusions can you draw from this experience?

  • What did you learn about yourself?

  • What did you learn about others?

To answer “Now What?” you can ask any of the following questions, which describe what you will do now that the experience is over.

  • How will you apply what you have learned from this experience?

  • What would you like to learn about this experience?

  • What do you need to do to address any challenges that arose during this experience?

  • How will this experience contribute to your career?

  • How will this experience change your community going forward?

  • How can you continue to get involved in this sort of experience?

Easy to use

Easy to use

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Built-in collaboration

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