Agile Retrospective Resources

There is a lot of information out there are agile retrospectives.  I have a number of articles on them and there are plenty of places with information including blogs, websites, and books.


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My Articles About Agile Retrospectivesagile-retrospective-resources

These are articles I’ve written on retrospectives

Other Articles about Agile Retrospectives

 Agile Retrospective Books

  • Getting Value Out of Agile Retrospectives by Ben Linders and Luis Gonçalves (forward by Esther Derby) includes a number of agile retrospective exercise formats as well as a section on the business value of agile retrospectives, steps for pre-work and more.  A great place to get a well rounded overview of retros and a number of exercise ideas.
  • The Retrospective Handbook  by Patrick Kua (also on Amazon) (forward by Diana Larsen) covers a great deal of ideas and information about retrospectives and digs into more details surrounding retrospectives.  I recommend this book as well for anyone looking to start to get into more of reasoning and background beyond retrospectives.
  • Agile Retrospectives – Making Good Teams Great a book by Diana Larsen and Esther Derby: This book contains a ton of great ideas for retrospectives.
  • Fun Retrospectives [book] by the same folks who have the website noted below.  [They are selling it on Leanpub, which allows you to choose your price AND see what the authors make.]

Agile Retrospectives Formats

Here are a few links to ideas of different retrospective  formats.

  • Retrospective Wiki – This is a wiki setup by Rob Bowley. In his words “This is a resource for sharing retrospective plans, tips & tricks, tools and ideas to help us get the most out of our retrospectives. Retrospectives play a crucial role in software teams. They are the time specifically put aside to reflect on how the team is performing and what can be done to improve.”
  • Fun Retrospectives – They have a website with a number of options from a safety check, to other check-ins, as well as plenty of other retrospective options.  Many of these are scattered around the web and in some of the books listed farther down this article as well. I like the idea of having them accessible via the web to get the ideas flowing.  They have some such as the pre-mortum (all things that could go wrong), which I’ve used, although I just made it up for a client a while back.  So you will see there are many ideas there that you can expand on, see pictures of, and you might even see some you have used in some format or another.
  • Retr-o-Mat: This site by Corinna Baldauf has almost 100 activities in multiple languages. You can also add your own activity.
  • Retrospective Dialogue Sheets are worksheets that a team or group can use as a tool to facilitate a retrospective.”At its simplest a Dialogue Sheet Retrospective consists of eight people sitting around a dialogue sheet and discussing the questions on the sheet for between one and two hours. At the end of this time the team have completed the retrospective and have some actions to start work on.” There is a video you can watch to explain more about them or you can subscribe to download them for free. If you want to try one without signing up, try this Retrospective Dialogue Sheet [used with permission]. They have a number of different types, include a Team Startup Dialogue Sheet and many more!
  • Actions Centered Retrospective by Nick Oostvogels: I like the layout and have used this in a number of situations. He also talks about other retrospective topics.
  • Wheel of Change Retrospective by Peter Green based on Marshall Goldsmiths’ framework for change that he calls the Wheel of Change.
  • Tasty Cupcakes: Various retrospective and facilitation exercises
  • International Association of Facilitators Methods Library: Various facilitation methods


If you have ideas for agile retrospective resources that you believe should be on this list, let me know and I’ll take a look at them!


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Jake Calabrese

Jake Calabrese is a coach, trainer, and coach-consultant working to help organizations meet the promise of agile by going beyond agile practices to address culture challenges and help teams and leaders reach and maintain high performance. He has unique expertise as an Organization & Relationship Systems Certified Coach (ORSCC), a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST), Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC), and Professional Certified Coach (PCC), and as a trainer and coach for Agile Companies (helping non-software organizations use agile). Jake created the AgileSafari cartoon series to introduce humor into the more challenging issues we have to tackle. Jake uses ideas from various areas of thinking such as: Lean, professional coaching, neuroscience, psychology, facilitation, brain-based training, improvisation, agile, kanban, and scrum. Jake regularly speaks at local and national conferences including Mile High Agile, Scrum Gathering, and Agile Alliance Agile20xx conferences.

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