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14 Sprint Retrospective Templates Worth Trying

Discover 14 sprint retrospective templates to improve your agile team's efficiency and collaboration in this guide.

February 17, 2024 by Maria Garcia

Creating a culture of continuous improvement and feedback is essential for any agile team. Retrospectives are a key component of this, offering a structured way for teams to reflect on their recent experiences and identify areas for improvement.

To keep these sessions engaging and productive, experimenting with different retrospective formats can be incredibly beneficial. Here are 14 retrospective templates that you should try, each with its unique approach to fostering collaboration, insight, and growth:

1. Pre-Mortem Retrospective

The Pre-Mortem Retrospective is a forward-looking exercise that asks team members to anticipate potential challenges and failures before they happen. This approach encourages proactive thinking and helps in identifying risks and developing mitigation strategies early on.

  • Potential Failures (What Could Go Wrong): Teams brainstorm possible challenges and obstacles they might face in the upcoming sprint or project phase.
  • Preventative Measures (How to Avoid Failures): For each identified potential failure, teams discuss and plan actions that could prevent these issues from occurring.
  • Contingency Plans (How to Respond if Failures Occur): Teams also develop contingency plans, outlining how they would respond to and recover from setbacks if they were to happen.

2. Rose, Thorn, Bud Retrospective

This retrospective is structured around three main columns or themes, each representing a different focus area:

  • Rose (Highlights and Successes): Recognizes and appreciates the successes, achievements, and positive experiences.
  • Thorn (Challenges and Areas for Improvement): Discusses challenges, obstacles, and issues faced, aiming to identify areas for improvement and learn from mistakes.
  • Bud (Opportunities and Potential): Focuses on future growth opportunities and potential areas for development, encouraging forward-thinking and innovation.

3. KALM Retrospective

KALM stands for Keep, Add, Less, More. This template helps teams evaluate their current practices and decide on adjustments for the future.

  • Keep (What’s Working Well): Identifies practices and processes that are currently effective and should be continued.
  • Add (New Ideas to Try): Encourages the team to think about new strategies, tools, or processes that could be introduced.
  • Less (What to Do Less Of): Discusses activities or processes that may not be very effective and could be minimized.
  • More (What to Increase): Identifies successful activities that could be expanded or emphasized further.

4. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Retrospective

This format encourages teams to openly discuss the positive, negative, and particularly problematic aspects of their recent work.

  • The Good (Positive Aspects): Highlights what went well and should be continued or expanded.
  • The Bad (Negative Aspects): Identifies what didn’t go well and needs improvement or adjustment.
  • The Ugly (Major Issues): Focuses on the most significant challenges that had a considerable negative impact, aiming to learn from these experiences and prevent recurrence.

5. Pleasure and Gain Retrospective

This template focuses on identifying what team members enjoy doing and what brings the most value to the project.

  • Pleasure (Enjoyable Tasks): Discusses the aspects of work that team members find most satisfying and enjoyable.
  • Gain (Value-Adding Activities): Identifies the activities that contribute most significantly to the project’s success and should be prioritized.

6. Sad Mad Glad Retrospective

The Sad Mad Glad Retrospective allows team members to express their emotions about the project and their work, facilitating a more empathetic and supportive team environment.

  • Sad (Disappointments): Addresses the aspects of the project or team dynamic that have been sources of disappointment or frustration.
  • Mad (Frustrations): Discusses the elements that have caused anger or frustration, aiming to find ways to alleviate these feelings.
  • Glad (Joyful Aspects): Highlights the positive experiences and achievements that have brought joy to the team members.

7. Three Little Pigs Retrospective

Inspired by the classic fairy tale, this retrospective focuses on the strengths and weaknesses of the team’s work and infrastructure.

  • Straw House (Weak Foundations): Identifies aspects of the work that are vulnerable or lacking in robustness.
  • Stick House (Areas of Some Strength but Could Improve): Discusses areas that are functioning but not as strong or efficient as they could be.
  • Brick House (Strong Areas): Highlights the most robust and effective aspects of the team’s work, encouraging the team to build on these strengths.

8. Start Stop Continue Retrospective

A straightforward template that helps teams focus on their actions and behaviors.

  • Start (New Practices to Adopt): Identifies new actions or practices the team should begin implementing.
  • Stop (Practices to Cease): Discusses what isn’t working and should be


  • Continue (Practices to Keep): Highlights the successful practices that should be continued.

9. Starfish Retrospective

The Starfish Retrospective uses five categories to help teams evaluate their activities and decide on adjustments.

  • Keep Doing: Practices that are currently effective and should be continued.
  • Less Of: Activities that should be reduced.
  • More Of: Successful activities that could be beneficial if increased.
  • Stop Doing: Ineffective practices that should be discontinued.
  • Start Doing: New ideas or practices to introduce.

10. Plus-Minus-Delta Retrospective

This template helps teams reflect on their performance and identify specific changes for improvement.

  • Plus (What Went Well): Highlights the positive aspects of the team’s work.
  • Minus (What Didn’t Go Well): Identifies the negative aspects or challenges faced.
  • Delta (Changes for Improvement): Discusses the changes needed to overcome the identified challenges and improve future performance.

11. WARP Retrospective

WARP stands for Wishes, Appreciations, Risks, and Puzzles, offering a comprehensive review of the team’s experiences and outlook.

  • Wishes (Desires for the Future): Captures the team’s hopes and desires for future projects or sprints.
  • Appreciations (Gratitude and Recognition): Allows team members to express gratitude and recognize each other’s contributions.
  • Risks (Potential Challenges): Identifies potential risks and challenges that could impact the team’s future work.
  • Puzzles (Questions and Uncertainties): Discusses any questions or uncertainties the team has about their work or the project.

12. 4 Ls Retrospective

The 4 Ls stand for Liked, Learned, Lacked, and Longed For, offering a balanced reflection on the team’s experiences.

  • Liked (Enjoyable Aspects): Discusses what team members particularly enjoyed about the recent project or sprint.
  • Learned (Knowledge Gained): Highlights the new insights or skills acquired.
  • Lacked (Missing Elements): Identifies any elements or resources that were missing and could have enhanced the team’s work.
  • Longed For (Desires): Captures the things team members wished had been part of their experience.

13. DAKI Retrospective

DAKI stands for Drop, Add, Keep, Improve. It’s a straightforward template focusing on action items for future improvement.

  • Drop (Ineffective Practices): Identifies practices that haven’t been effective and should be discontinued.
  • Add (New Ideas to Implement): Encourages the team to think about new strategies or practices to adopt.
  • Keep (Effective Practices): Highlights the practices that have been effective and should be continued.
  • Improve (Areas for Enhancement): Discusses the areas where the team could perform better and how they might achieve this.

14. Wish and Wonder Retrospective

This retrospective template allows teams to dream big and express their curiosity, fostering a creative and open environment.

  • Wish (Hopes and Dreams): Team members share their hopes and dreams for the team or project, encouraging aspirational thinking.
  • Wonder (Curiosities and Questions): Encourages team members to express their curiosities and questions, which can lead to insightful discussions and innovative ideas.


Experimenting with different retrospective templates can keep your team engaged and ensure continuous improvement. Each template offers a unique perspective, helping teams reflect on their experiences, celebrate successes, and identify areas for growth. By trying out these 14 templates, you can find the ones that resonate most with your team and contribute to a more effective, cohesive, and motivated working environment.

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