Five Top Retrospective Ideas for Scrum Teams

Scrum retrospectives play an important role after our agile development teams have completed a sprint.

Through retrospectives, development teams can review all problems and reflect on the big picture collaboratively. It gives every participant a chance to speak up and identify potential blocks, which will help teams discover solutions quickly and improve work efficiency in the next task.

But which retrospective template is best for your next meeting? Here are 5 templates that keep your team always engaged and motivated.

Glad / Sad / Mad

As one of the most widely used retro templates, you only need to categorize what we have done in the last sprint into three sections: Glad, Sad, and Mad.


Participants can use this template to express their emotions or reflections on any work which is guided by this pre-built framework. This is highly effective to let everyone speak up in a fast-paced and result-driven agile environment.

Stop / Continue / Start

The Start, Stop, Continue retro template allows everyone to review the actions they’ve taken in the last sprint and determine which one needs to be stopped or is worth continuing.


It also makes it easy for participants to think about new actions they should take at the end of a session and what needs to be improved. Each item that we put on the whiteboard is better highlighted with changes in behavior and actionable points.

Four Ls

The 4Ls template is a creative way for teams to brainstorm and ask them more personal questions compared to traditional retro approaches. It focuses on four major areas:

  • What have you learned from the project?
  • What do you like about the project?
  • What did the team lack during the process?
  • What do you or your team long for in the future?

Four Ls

Participants need to reflect on all the work during the last sprint and discuss both the positive and negative elements. This 4Ls template is a useful tool when you want to take time out to understand everyone’s emotions and evaluate team performance.


5 Whys analysis is a highly effective technique to discover the root cause of each problem progressively without distraction.

5 whys

Participants need to reflect on the previous project and correctly identify the problem to resolve at first. And then ask the initial question and repeat it four more times continuously to discover the original cause at the end.

The 5 Whys template is critical when your team needs to focus on problem-solving and finding an actional solution. This technique is especially helpful when you have a long-existing prob problem or have been stuck in a long-term and complex situation.

6 Thinking Hats

6 Thinking Hats technique is like a role-playing model that helps teams to think and decide from different perspectives. Each participant will be assigned a specific role and answer related questions.

The six hats and their descriptions are:

  • White hat: Facts and information
  • Black hat: Logics and judgment
  • Yellow hat: Positives
  • Green hat: Creativity
  • Red hat: Instinct and feelings
  • Blue hat: Management and control

When you apply this model in a scrum retrospective, usually you start with the blue hat to clarify the goals and end with the same one to summarize and make a decision.

6 Thinking Hats

During the process, different hats play their roles in articulating problems, suggesting potential solutions, providing instinctive judgment and evaluating pros and cons, etc. In the end, your team will have a rich collection of insights into the issue and everyone can be fully involved in the decision-making process.


Last but not least, in order to find out the template that best meets your needs for an effective scrum retrospective, as a team leader you need to consider the size of your team, related scrum experience, and your goal.

For example, if your project is relatively big and your team wants to have a retro meeting every week, you can choose the FREE Stop/Continue/Start template which is pre-built for you on VUCAC and all your content created in every sprint will be stored.

If the project is small and your team wants to see or reflect on the big picture of the current situation, you can choose the 4 Ls or 6 Thinking Hats template in the VUCAC’s template library too.