We all know we’re meant to use the right tool for the job. We all know it can make the difference between getting the job ‘done’, and getting the job ‘done right’. Most of all, we all know just how easy it is to ignore this pearl of wisdom.

For some reason, we’ll find ourselves doing something like reaching for a knife to open a can. Sure, we may get the job done, but when we use the wrong tool we may end up breaking the tool, damaging the goods or even ourselves.

The same can be said of retrospective templates. Using the right retrospective template will help you deliver the outcomes you hope to achieve more effectively. Using the wrong template may –

  • undermine its effectiveness
  • Cost the team valuable time, or even
  • negatively impact the engagement of the team

The great news is, we’ve made it much easier for you to pick the right template for your next retrospective meeting! The templates are all remote friendly for distributed teams and just as useful for face-to-face sprint retrospective meetings. They can help focus your team on the product, the process, and they can even help make the meeting fun.

How have we made choosing retrospective templates easy?

The short answer is we’ve built a widget that overcomes the main barrier to making that choice; finding time.

When it comes to choosing a retrospective format, a lack of time can often mean you don’t explore the other templates and the benefits they deliver. Instead, you stick with the same format or the one that is most familiar.

This means that your team doesn’t get to benefit from the value changing retrospective templates can bring. Even worse, it could actually be helping antipatterns to take hold. This includes meeting fatigue, repetition and boredom, or asking the wrong questions.

The widget helps you to quickly hone in on the template most likely to help your team. It has been designed to align the focus, context or behavior you wish to address to the best template for the job. It offers a quick summary of the template, along with the dimensions it includes. Of course, you can test drive that template with our team of friendly bots, and get more detail on it and how we’ve used it in the past.

How have we sorted the retrospective templates?

We have categorized each of the templates based on their purposes and intended outcomes. While a retrospective does not have to be solely focussed on just one aspect, each has a major theme it will support. Here’s the rundown.


As well as supporting the retrospective itself, these can also be used to bring the team into the meeting headspace. They can help warm up the team, help to build rapport, and they can make sure everyone’s focus is on the meeting at hand. It’s easy to get distracted by emails and other work items, so a check-in that uses an easy, round robin style of questions helps people focus on the retrospective. They tend to be simple questions that have no right or wrong answer, so they build safety by giving each person a chance to chime in.

New to Retros

These are designed for a Scrum Master who may be new to Agile, or for a team who are just starting to dip their toes into the Agile water. They are tried and true formats that have become industry standards, and offer a solid array of questions to help the team learn and grow.

Team Building

Have a new team? Maybe just a new team member? These team building retrospectives aim to help people work more collaboratively on a particular issue or theme. They can help to create social contracts. They can help grow understanding as to how each person works, thinks, and solves problems. There are no high rope courses here. Instead, it’s a discovery of the way your team members think and how they might work together.

Product Management

These retrospectives templates help the team focus on the elements that will deliver the best possible product. They include dimensions that keep sprint and product goals in mind based on feedback from product owners, data and overall user stories. They look at the features of the product. They also look at the team coordinates and is supported while delivering their goals.


These templates focus on how a team works. They examine the environment in which they work and the stage they find themselves in the development life cycle. The goals of the templates might be to remove impediments, increase productivity and throughput, or simply to ensure that the team has a shared understanding of the process. Whether it’s continuous delivery or paired work, the process focus means that you can more easily examine what the team needs by way of support.


These templates support the delivery of futurespectives. While it is generally known that retrospectives are based on the last sprint cycle, a futurespective takes a different tack. They help teams shape a high-level strategy that supports the smooth delivery of their goal. They do this by having a team draw on their past experiences to shape a shared vision that will guide them forward.

Fun and Novel

Is your team suffering from meeting fatigue? Can you sense their disengagement? Is there a chorus of groans when it comes to your retros? These fun and novel agile retrospective formats encourage people to think differently by offering them a fresh perspective. They bring smiles, energy and vibrancy to the meeting. Warning: It may lead to laughter or a wild idea that just might work!

Deep Dives

These are the agile formats to use when it’s time to get deep and meaningful. The questions here help you delve further into a topic. The conversations themselves may be more intrinsic or personal in nature. Some of them require a little soul searching while others may require an analytical approach to solving a problem or issue.

How to find a retrospective template for your next agile meeting

Finding the right template can be done in three easy steps.

  1. Head over to our widget.
  2. Pick the category that applies to your theme or purpose.
  3. Choose the retrospective template you want, and start brainstorming.

Want to know more about choosing a retrospective template? Check out Chapter 8 of our Scrum Master’s Retrospective Guide.

In it, we offer more detail on how a team’s focus, context and behavior can shape the template you choose, as well as sharing some of our favorite templates.

Do you have another idea for a retrospective format? We’d love to hear about it and to add it to our community library of templates. Get in touch.