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What style of retrospective have you found to be the most successful and/or useful?

Jason H Atlassian Team Jan 15, 2020

There are many different styles of retrospective from the classics of Glad/Sad/Mad and the 4L's* through to some really wacky ideas like The Oscars.

What are your go-to favourites?

Do you stick with one style or do you switch depending on the outcome you're looking for?



* 4L's: Liked/Learned/Lacked/Longed for


I usually switch it up depending on the outcome or how the sprint went.

Like Dave Liao likes this
Dave Liao Community Leader Sep 09, 2020

Love this answer - do you find particular formats useful when a sprint went especially well?

It may sound flaky, but I have found the team to be way more vocal so I would then aim for something that would engage them. 1-2-3-All worked for them.

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Dave Liao Community Leader Sep 15, 2020

Doesn't sound flaky at all! :)

Jason H Atlassian Team Jan 15, 2020

"The Oscars" was an attempt at a fresh theme for regular retro topics. It consisted of five columns:

  • Studio backing - what should we start doing (because the studio has loads of cash)
  • Alan Smithee - what should we stop doing (when a director quits a movie, the director credits go to Alan Smithee)
  • Director's cut - what should we do more of (directors want to spend more)
  • Producer's cut - what should we do less of (producers want to spend less)
  • And the Oscar goes to - kudos
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Dave Liao Community Leader Sep 09, 2020

@Jason H - I switch retrospective formats regularly to keep things fun and interesting for my teams (and me!). If I'm with a team for a long time, this is especially important.

Like Brant Schroeder likes this
Brant Schroeder Community Leader Nov 06, 2020

I agree with @Dave Liao  It is important to change it up to keep teams engaged and retrospect's a productive activity.  


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