If you’ve been using our tool, you probably already know about our Agile Retrospective Meetings. And if you know about our Retrospectives, you know you can change the categories to anything you want, customizing your meeting to best fit your team.

Our latest feature ties in rather well with this theme. Now you not only have access to more default retro categories, but you can create your own, too! Notice the new button at the top of your Retro Board, which will be present before you start your meeting and during the Review Open Action Items step.

This opens the Category Templates Dialog, which is pre-populated with 10 of Instant Agenda’s default Retro Categories (which you can find below). You can select whichever template suits your fancy, or you can create your own using the Create button at the top right.

Note: You will not be able to apply your categories if you have ideas on your board.

1. Starfish (Start, Stop, Less, More, Keep)
Use 5 categories to reflect on team practices and activities and how they are impacting our results.

  • Start Doing
  • Stop Doing
  • Keep Doing
  • Do Less
  • Do More

2. PIPA (Puzzles, Ideas, Problems, Appreciations)
A broad, evocative set of prompts to get the team thinking beyond the typical “helping / hurting” paradigm.

  • Puzzles 🀄
  • Ideas 💡
  • Problems ⚠️
  • Appreciations 👏

3. ORID (Objective, Reflective, Interpretive, Decision)
This is a technique inspired by Practical Facilitation: A Toolkit of Techniques, Chapter 3 (Christine Hogan, 2003). Help the team take a deeper look, and consider issues from multiple angles.

  • Objective – Facts, Data, Senses
  • Reflective – Reactions, Emotions, Feelings
  • Interpretive – Meaning, Conclusions, Impacts
  • Decision – What should we do?

4. 4L’s (Liked, Learned, Lacked, Longed For)
“Word Cafe” useful in eliciting feedback on a process, meeting or event. Source: EBG Consulting: The Four Ls Retrospective (http://ebgconsulting.com/blog/the-4l%E2%80%99s-a-retrospective-technique/ ).

  • Liked 👍
  • Learned 🎓
  • Lacked 🚫
  • Longed For 😍

5. Plus/Delta
The simplest form of retrospect – what went well?, what should we change?

  • Plus ➕
  • Delta 🔺

6. Start, Stop, Continue
A common, straightforward technique to focus on evaluating our current practices and starting new ones. Mike Cohn provides a great overview here: https://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/blog/a-simple-way-to-run-a-sprint-retrospective

  • Stop 🛑
  • Start ➕
  • Continue ⏩

7. Mad, Sad, Glad
Look at the past iteration through an emotional lens. What were the big events? Did they make you Angry? Happy? Sad?

  • Mad 😡
  • Sad 😭
  • Glad 😀

8. Force Field Analysis (Driving / Restraining)
Useful if you are addressing a single large issue or situation, but can be used more generally as well. What is driving us forward, what is holding us back?

  • ⏩ What is Driving us Forward?
  • ⏪ What is Holding us Back?

9. Sailboat
A version of Force Field – what is the wind in our sails? What is the anchor holding us back? Popularized by Luke Hohmann’s book Innovation Games.

  • Wind in our Sails ⛵
  • Holding us Back ⚓

10. Imagine the Future
Think about possible future states, both good and bad. What things might take us to those states?

  • Awesome future looks like?
  • What might take us to awesome town?
  • The apocalypse looks like?
  • What might cause the apocalypse?

Interested in even more templates? Check out our post 3 scrum masters share their favorite retro templates!

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to use the feedback button in the app. Also, we’re always happy to hear from you directly — just schedule a 15-minute call with us.

Mackenzie Fernandez

Developer at Instant Agenda
Mackenzie is a Colorado native that has a tool built for everything. She spends most of her time reading (a lot), hiking and organizing Nerf games.

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