12 Sprint Retrospectives Templates to use in 2023 (2023)

sailing boat. hot air balloon. Rockclimbing. Do you imagine adventurous excursions? Possibly. But if you're part of an agile team, you might be familiar with these terms as techniques for retrospective discussions. Using memorable frameworks like these can help frame your retrospectives so you can more easily gain insight into your goals, roadblocks, and achievements, and improve future sprints.

Sprint retrospectives are the most popularScrum-Teams, but any Agile team can hold retrospective meetings to reflect on other types of work—like B. current releases or key projects. To encourage open and fruitful discussions, many teams rely on creative frameworks guided by visual tools or templates.

In this guide, you can access retrospective templates to refresh and guide your discussions. If you want to get started right away, give it a trybuilt-in sprint retrospective templateInAha! Create. Aha! Create can use up to 5 documents for free - including notes and whiteboards - so you can collaborate with your team and take meeting notes together.

if you useAha! DevelopTo manage technical work, you can also use team whiteboards and notes in your account. This guide also includesDownloadable sprint retrospective templatesif you prefer to start that way.

Try the Sprint Retrospective Template in Aha! Create.Sign up here to get a free account.

12 Sprint Retrospectives Templates to use in 2023 (1)

Jump to the sections of the guide that are most useful to you:

  • What is a Sprint Retrospective?

  • Why Use a Sprint Retrospective Template?

  • Download the templates

What is a Sprint Retrospective?

Sprint Retrospectivesare held after the completion of a sprint—usually immediately afterSprint review.During the retrospective, agile development teams discuss what went well, what didn't go well, and what they can do to make the next sprint even better. This practice is essential for thenimble Philosophyof continuous improvement. Overall, the focus should be on what you've learned and how to apply those lessons to the next sprint.

Retrospective meetings are a special time to become familiar with current processes and tools. It's a space to share triumphs and sorrows. And the conversation should lead to an understanding of why the team encountered obstacles and how the effort led to success - talking about the underlying causes can help you repeat or avoid similar results in the future.

Everyone should come out of retrospective discussions with a solid list of things to doaction itemsimplement in the next sprint. These should be easily achievable tasks that will help you either amplify positive outcomes or reduce negative ones.

Related guides:

  • What is a sprint?

  • Best practices of agile development teams

Why do I need a Sprint Retrospective Template?

Sprint retrospective meetings are a hybrid of a discussion forum and a work session. Conversational frameworks can support both meeting purposes - strengthening connection and productivity at the same time.

Over the years,scrum masterhave developed a number of these frameworks to guide sprint retrospective discussions—often in the form of charts, images, and interactive exercises. Because these techniques have become so popular and effective, agile teams use template-based versions in their discussions.

Before we take a closer look at templates, here are the top ways your team can benefit from a sprint retrospective template: 

  • freshness: Retrospectives can become outdated over time. A variety of templates help keep meetings fresh and productive. With so many templates to choose from, even seasoned teams will usually find a new one to try.

  • openness: Sprint retrospectives templates offer a no-fuss way to share authentic feelings—via conversation starters, visuals, and specific questions (e.g., “What should we stop doing?”) versus open-ended questions (e.g., “ How do you think the sprint went?").

  • justice: Templates encourage full participation. Each teammate spends a few minutes thinking, sometimes jotting down ideas on physical or digital sticky notes, and then discussing their thoughts. Taking turns ensures that each person's voice is heard—even if it's not the loudest.

  • Direction: Scrum teams are collectively accountable for their wins and losses. When discussing bad results, retrospective templates provide guidance that directs discussions to the entire sprint process and avoids scapegoating.

  • efficiency: A retrospective template keeps the conversation going. Think of it like a basic agenda—outline your talking points and look at the order of events. This is especially helpful for scrum teams, since sprint retrospectives are time-limited.

  • Sharing knowledge: Collective insights are valuable. By keeping everything in a template, you can revisit the insights later to assess how things have improved.

Start with sprint retrospectives templates

During a sprint retrospective, your meeting agenda is simple: present the template you will be using, gather input on the last sprint (both positive and negative takeaways), collect ideas for the next one, and choose your action items . Each of the following retrospective templates will help you start engaging conversations—then gather insights, organize, and act.

  • Aha! Create retrospective template

  • 4 Ls template

  • Agile retrospective notes template

  • DAKI template

  • FLAP template

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  • Hot Air Balloon Template

  • Crazy, sad, happy template

  • Mountain climber template

  • Rose, thorn, bud template

  • Sailboat template

  • Starfish Template

  • Start, stop, continue template

Aha! Create a sprint retrospective template

This template inAha! Createis free and gives you the opportunity to host a collaborative sprint retrospective on a virtual whiteboard. Document what went well, what could have gone better, and what you would do differently next time. Then identify and assign action items for the team.

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4-Ls Sprint Retrospective Template

The four "L" stand for "loved", "learning", "lacked" and "songed for". The 4Ls retrospective template provides a clear structure to explore the positives and negatives of this sprint – both technically and team-wise. You can also call this exercise "Lessons Learned".

To use the 4-Ls retrospective template, team members write their takeaways for each "L" and place them in the appropriate box.

Agile sprint retrospective notes template

This simple retrospective template will help you organize your notes, document action points, and have a productive meeting. This is an effective entry-level template for any agile team, no matter which onemethodologyyou follow.

This template is best suited for use by the meeting leader or a designated scribe who can take notes for the entire team.

DAKI Sprint Retrospective Template

DAKI's retrospective template is a two-by-two grid. "DAKI" is an acronym for the different discussion topics: drop, add, keep and improve. In short, these mean:

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  • drops: What should we remove from our process in the next sprint?

  • Add to: What should we add to our process?

  • Hold: What should we do next?

  • Improve: What areas need improvement?

Try this template for a quick and streamlined discussion. Let team members write and share thoughts as sticky notes or comments in each quadrant.

FLAP sprint retrospective template

Another easy acronym to work with is FLAP, which stands for:

  • Future Considerations:Based on what we have learned, what should we consider for the next sprint?

  • Lessons learned:What are our key takeaways from the last sprint?

  • Achievements:What were the highlights of the last sprint?

  • Problems:What were the low points of the last sprint?

The FLAP template is useful for discussing both the previous sprint and ideas for upcoming work periods. Similar to the 4L and DAKI templates, team members take turns sharing their ideas for each component of the FLAP template.

Hot air balloon sprint retrospective template

For a more creative approach, try a hot air balloon retrospective template. This template uses a fun visual metaphor to encourage discussion about your key learnings and ideas for improvement. Use this template to talk about:

  • Hot air: What gave the team a boost in the last sprint?

  • sandbags: What pulled the team down?

  • sunny sky: Which points of the sprint felt positive or easy?

  • Stormy weather: Which points of the sprint felt challenging or risky?

12 Sprint Retrospectives Templates to use in 2023 (7)

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Crazy sad happy sprint retrospective template

Mad, Sad, Glad retrospective templates encourage team members to reflect on the past sprint in a more emotional way. Asking everyone to think about what made them frustrated, disappointed, or happy can provide more personal insights.

Mountain climber sprint retrospective template

The Mountain Climber Retrospective Template is another visually appealing technique. In this template, you'll discuss how different elements have impacted your ability to meet your sprint goals, represented by:

  • boulders: What obstacles did we encounter in the last sprint?

  • climbing equipment: What helped us to climb to the goal?

  • Bad weather: What caused a delay, setback or disruption?

  • The summit: Did we reach our sprint goal?

Retrospective template for Rose, Thorn, Bud Sprint

In this exercise, a rose represents highlights and achievements, thorns describe challenges or pain points, and buds represent new ideas for growth and improvement. Use the rose, thorn, bud retrospective template for a thoughtful conversation starter with simple talking points.

Sailboat sprint retrospective template

Similar to Hot Air Balloon and Mountain Climber, the Sailboat Retrospective template is a visual representation of how your current workflows are performing. (The simplified version of this is called the Anchors and Motors retrospective template.) Use the Sailboat template to evaluate:

  • Wind: What drove us forward in the last sprint?

  • Anker: What held us back?

    (Video) How to facilitate the best Sprint Retrospective meeting your team will love

  • rock: What obstacles or risks did we face?

  • Land: Did we reach our sprint goal?

Starfish Sprint retrospective template

Starfish's retrospective template is forward-thinking. Instead of telling the past, the discussion focuses on how the previous sprint will shape the sprints to come. Use this five-part diagram to define:

  • What to domore of

  • What to doless of

  • what you becomekeep going

  • what you becomeStop

  • what you becomebegin

Start, stop, continue sprint retrospective template

The Start, Stop, Continue retrospective template provides a balanced way to examine positives and negatives. Similar to Starfish's Retrospective template, it encourages your team to think about ways to amplify positive outcomes. Remember that not every improvement idea has to be brand new for every sprint.

In this template (and others) you may find it helpful to use icons or color-coding to indicate categories (such as Process, Tool, and Team).

With handy sprint retrospective templates, you'll always have new inspiration for thoughtful discussions. Try downloading one of these templates for your next meeting - or use the free sprint retrospective template inAha! Createto take notes, build a whiteboard and start conversations in a new way.

Plus, incorporate the insights from your retrospectives into your next sprint right within the same software suite.Aha! Developis the ideal place to plan and track sprints and do any kind of engineering work – so your team can achieve even more.

Optimize your agile development process with Aha! Develop.Start a free trial today

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