Your team is ready for the retrospective, and you feel an energy boost after the warm-up! It's time to look back at the past 2-4 weeks and think about what went well and what can be improved.
At this stage, team members will write personal notes about their experiences during this period.
Some teams prefer to keep all reflections anonymous so that everyone feels safe discussing topics.
Other teams prefer not to make them anonymous, on the basis that everyone should already feel psychologically comfortable and ready to take responsibility for their thoughts.
Regardless of the tool you choose, this step usually involves entering thoughts on digital stickers or cards. With a retrospective tool like JustRetro, you will have built-in optional anonymity.
Tips for the Facilitator
- ⏰ Set a timer – Usually 5-10 minutes is enough for team members to write down everything they're thinking. This helps keep your meeting on track and gives structure to the process.
- ♟️ Collect thoughts asynchronously – If your team is spread across time zones, try opening your retrospective board in advance and ask people to add their thoughts before your online meeting. This saves time and can prevent recency bias in your retrospectives.
- 💬 Manage the process – If you see that many people respond to certain patterns of queries and few to others, try to set a goal: "Would like to see 2-3 additional reflections on what we learned in the last sprint"
- ✅ The Next button will light up as soon as the system determines that everyone has finished.
Tips for Participants
As a participant in the retrospective, you might not know what to write. That's normal. To help you, here's an example of what strong and weak thoughts might look like:
- 💪 The testing process failed. I think the need to address urgent issues meant that testers were not available when we needed them. How could we improve this?
- 🙁 Testing was bad
What strong notes should look like:
- 📌 Specific about the problem or success
- 🗺️ Contextual, so everyone can understand when and where the issue occurred
- ♻️ Focused on processes, not individual tasks, because processes are recurring
Now you should be ready to write some great reflections for your retrospective.