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Retrospective is my favorite SCRUM ceremony and so this one was a must to attend! 

It’s challenging to get people speaking in the retros and sometimes they become so boring or are not appealing enough for people to attend. In such situations and otherwise as well, its important to try new techniques. Apart from the interest factor, varied techniques also bring out different kind of team input and feedback.

The presenter talked about few retrospective techniques , quite different from the conventional “Good, Bad, Ugly” or “Start-Stop-Continue”.

1) Emotional Timeline: Works well when the team hasn’t done a retro for a while.

On a Project Time-Line, the team is asked to paste event sticky notes on a Project time-line. Color coded sticky notes can be used to represent good/problematic/significant events (or any other classification). Below the Project line, team members put dots to represent the mood throughout the project phase, with happy mood on top and not-so-happy at below it. A rough line is then created by joining the points. The more upwards the line goes, the happier it was for the team!


2. Starfish Retrospectives: Five quadrants to list :

 — Keep Doing

—  More Of

— Less Of

— Start Doing &

— Less Doing

Team adds sticky notes to each quadrant. It’s a good listing technique similar to 4 L’s Technique


3) Hot Air Balloons – Ropes and Fuels: .A creative figurative way to depict ideas. Team is asked to put the events in two categories: Fuel for things that gave momentum/ good things and Ropes for things that held them back. Then further discussions are done. Ask the team to draw everything an be creative.



4) Appreciative Retro:  Used when same team has to work on future projects. Team jots down strengths, successes and events for the past iteration and the same for their expectation for the upcoming iteration.


5) FRIM – Frequency/Impact : Team notes down the main events and then they are represented on a graph with frequency.   on one axis and impact on another. It’s a good way to see patterns , something not easily decipherable from the conventional techniques.


6) Jeopardy : It reverse engineers what people are thinking. Team members puts the answers (or thoughts) on board first and all questions are noted down as a team under the question. At the end, the member who actually put the answer on the board discloses the question.

7) Race Car Technique: Another figurative way for Retrospectives. engine of the car represents the good things, the parachute for tings that held the team back and abyss for the catastrophic events.


Original slides can be found here.