Prep Time:
Time to run:
30 min

Retrospective template

Run a simple retrospective to evaluate and improve your work

Courtesy of our friends at

Use this template to reflect on recent work with your team. Evaluate what went well, what went poorly, what ideas the group has for improvement, and how the group should take action for next time. This simple structure is useful both alone or in groups.

Retrospectives meetings are often held after a sprint review to discuss what went well and what needs improvement. A facilitator (often a project manager or scrum master) guides this meeting to ensure team members understand objectives and provide ideas on how to achieve them.

This sprint retrospective template helps agile teams:

  • Identify opportunities for continuous improvment
  • Recognize teamwork and celebrate wins
  • Improve decision-making and problem-solving
  • Identify next steps and action items for the next sprint or project

How to use the retrospective template

This retrospective template creates an easy-to-follow foundation for evaluating and improving your work. When you create a template you’ll work with four key quadrants:

  • What went well?
  • What went poorly?
  • What ideas do you have?
  • How should we take action?

Keep these key elements in mind when going through the following steps:

1. Set the topic for the retrospective

Outline the main focus for the retrospective session and start adding ideas to the template. Working silently and individually, have each participant create a few sticky notes in all four quadrants for about five minutes. With the remaining time, discuss notes in each quadrant.

2. Consider what went well

Have each team member work individually creating sticky notes on what they believe went well during the project. These thoughts should encompass what went well, what should be celebrated, and specific call-outs for progress made and jobs well done. 

3. Discuss what went poorly

In this quadrant, your team repeats the above exercise, only this time for what went poorly. This should include where the team faced problems and what held them back. Reflect on processes that were frustrating or steps that caused friction.

By identifying the root causes of what went poorly, team members can contribute ideas on what to improve for next time.

4. Explore ideas for improvement

This quadrant is dedicated to the teams’ ideas. Ideas include improvement opportunities, ideas for future work as a team, and areas of opportunity for the next project. 

Team members can use the notes from what went well and what went poorly to inspire these ideas. All of this helps form the action items needed in the next step.

5. Define next steps and action items

Creating actionable steps for improvement is the driving purpose of a quick retrospective. This quadrant covers how the team should take action, including what they should do next, what specific things should change, and what needs to extend beyond the meeting. 

After identifying what went well and what went poorly, teams can easily create actionable steps that are both measurable and easily understood.

Tips for running effective retrospectives

  • Define specific action items in a start, stop, continue format by pulling sticky notes from each section of the template.
  • Use an icebreaker to get team members warmed up and engaged for the retrospective session.
  • Explore other agile and scrum templates to level up your agile project management and improve outcomes across retros, postmortems, brainstorming, standups, and more workflows.
  • Try using different frameworks for your retrospective. Some teams use the Mad, Sad, and Glad framework to surface disappointments, highlights, and frustrations from the previous sprint. Other frameworks like the Sailboat retrospective, the Rose, Bud, and Thorn retrospective, and Start, Stop and Continue retrospective are also commonly used.

How to create a Retrospective template

All the features you need to run better retrospectives with your team

Take team retros to the next level with all the collaborative whiteboard features and functionality that hybrid and distributed teams need for real-time collaboration.
Sticky notes & text

Sticky notes & text

Add ideas, action items, and more as a sticky note or text box — then change the colors and cluster to identify patterns and new solutions.

Real-time collaboration

Real-time collaboration

Add more productivity and engagement to meetings and calls with features to guide collaboration.

Summon collaborators

Summon collaborators

Easily direct everyone’s attention to a specific part of the mural — no screen sharing required.

Tags on sticky notes

Tags on sticky notes

Customizable labels make it easy to find, organize, and categorize your work in a mural.



Add comments and tag collaborators for smooth asynchronous communication.

Video meeting integrations

Video meeting integrations

Seamlessly add visual collaboration to meetings with Microsoft Teams, Webex, and Zoom integrations.

Retrospective template frequently asked questions

What's the main purpose of holding a retrospective?

How do you structure a retrospective?

What makes agile retrospectives different from other types of retrospectives?

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