Witches and Warlocks Retrospectives

Sprint Retrospective Idea – Create a little Harry Potter style magic that transforms and elevates the team.

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What is the Witches and Warlocks Retrospective?

Witches and Warlocks is a great example of a fun sprint retrospective for distributed teams for two reasons.

Firstly, like many of our retrospectives, this theme-based retrospective has been deliberately crafted to position team members to adopt an optimistic view of the sprint; that’s not to say the less successful elements are overlooked – far from it!

Secondly, it’s a sprint retrospective idea that shows creativity and fun bring value to a project, and can be embraced without sacrificing productivity, focus or purpose.


Everyone is given the opportunity to call out challenges by identifying what they wish to “transform” with the “Magic Wand”, followed by the chance to itemize their aims and team goals with the “The Perfect Spell”. These help to foster conversations that are solution focussed. (What could we transform this into? How could we achieve that? What would we need? What value would this deliver?).

Witches and Warlocks Retrospective Format

Love Potion
Participants are asked what they loved about the last sprint (no matter how big or how small). This could be a reflection of the participants’ interactions with others, resources that made a difference, perception of the success achieved – the list goes on.

Magic Wand
Participants get to call out what they’d like to transform; to identify what isn’t working and what could be improved or changed.

The Perfect Spell
Participants have the chance to define what the team should aim for. This is the chance to suggest solutions, and set goals for the next sprint.

Crystal Ball
Who wouldn’t want a crystal ball? This is the chance to consider the broader context and what people predict or see happening in the future and how it might impact their work or happiness?

Owl
This is a platform for shout-outs; to acknowledge effort, creative ideas, bravery and support. This is a chance for participants to demonstrate their appreciation of the team values while appreciating each other.

How to run a Witches and Warlocks Retrospective in TeamRetro

Start Agile Retrospective

Start your retrospective in a click
Log into TeamRetro and choose your sprint retrospective template.

Invite Your Team
Invite your team easily – no separate accounts needed
Send an email invite, a link or add to your Slack channel to get people started quickly. SSO options are also available.
Agile Retrospective Brainstorm
Time to brainstorm
Each team member can now brainstorm individually under each topic. This avoids group think and allows everyone to have their say. They can indicate when they have finished, or you can set a timer so that you know when to move onto the next stage.
Grouping of ideas after brainstorming in a retrospective meeting
Group related ideas
Drag and drop  related ideas to combine them for easier voting. TeamRetro can also automatically suggest ideas that are similar, saving you and your team valuable time.
Grouping of ideas after brainstorming in a retrospective meeting
Vote independently to avoid anchoring
Each team member votes on what they would most like to discuss further. The results won’t be displayed to everyone until you advance to Discuss.
Grouping of ideas after brainstorming in a retrospective meeting

Discuss the most important things first
You and your team discuss the top voted ideas and can capture deep dive comments.  Presentation mode allows you to walk your team through ideas one-by-one and keep the conversation focused.

Grouping of ideas after brainstorming in a retrospective meeting

Review and create actions

Easily facilitate discussion by bringing everyone onto the same page. Create action items, assign owners and due dates that will carry through for review at the next retrospective.

Grouping of ideas after brainstorming in a retrospective meeting

Share the results
Once you have finished your retro, you can share the results and actions with the team. Your retro will be stored so you can revisit them as needed.

Congratulations! You’ve just run a retro like a boss.
Want more? Read on.

Ideas and Tips for your Witches and Warlocks Retrospective

If you’re looking for imaginative ways to connect with your team and foster well-being, a creative sprint retrospective idea such as the Witches and Warlock template could be what you’re looking for.

  • Create a little magic. Set the stage with a little magic trick of your own or ask if someone knows a good trick they like to share. Can’t think of one? Here’s 25 tricks you can try yourself.

  • Prefer a slightly different ice breaker? Ask each person which spell they would like to have cast in the last sprint. A time rewind spell for more time, the ability to be invisible to avoid interruptions or a sleep spell because of the late nights working to deliver an outcome. These are great ice breakers to help get a sense of the room.

  • Make brainstorming anonymous to allow people to feel safe when contributing their thoughts. People will feel more engaged when they feel like they can air what they need to.

  • As well as acknowledging contributions of various team members, the “Owl” category is a subtle way of keeping an eye on team morale and well-being; do the shout-outs reflect an obvious atmosphere of collaboration and gratitude, or is this an area that needs support?

  • This retrospective could inspire your team members to step up and create their own theme-based retrospective founded on their own passions and interests. It could be a great way of introducing different team members to the role of facilitator – after all, if they created the retrospective, they are incredibly well placed to deliver it!

  • Follow up with an action list that you will check off at the start of the next team retro.
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