The Butter Team

Team Retrospective Template

Create a culture of continuous improvement and transparency by reflecting on a project’s wins, challenges, and ways of working.

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What is a retrospective?

Retrospectives provide a structured methodology for your team look back at your past projects in order to improve future ones. They help you evaluate goals, structure feedback, and discuss improvements for how your team works and operates.

Retrospectives have their roots in the Agile Manifesto, which promotes the idea of regular reflection to become more effective.

When done right, they become a safe space for teams to share critical feedback and contribute to each other’s improvement.

They help teams share important feedback to each other in a more constructive way, and work together to come up with solutions. Retrospectives have been proven to boost team morale and efficiency, and has had far-reaching effects in areas outside of Development teams.

Objectives of a retrospective meeting

Retrospectives allow you to:

  • Evaluate how the project sprint went—including goals, successes, failures, processes, ways of working, and tools.
  • Clearly articulate what worked and what didn’t, and prioritize areas for improvement.
  • Create and agree on an action plan to improve the overall team process.

When should you run retrospectives?

Retrospectives are useful:

  • at the end of projects and sprints—especially when major initiatives have been rolled out
  • for leaders who want to incorporate feedback from different perspectives into their organizational process

How to use this template

Here are the agenda blocks and tools included in this template.

1. Introduction to Butter

Time: 2 minutes

Tools: Flashcard Deck

Use this interactive guide to get your participants comfortable with Butter. You can change the tips or move them around as you wish!

2. Welcome & check-in ✨

Time: 7 minutes

Tools: Music Playlist, Flashcard Deck

Welcome everyone with some nice music and invite them to make a stamp next to the emotion that represents how their day went so far. Invite a couple of voices to speak up.

3. Let's set the stage 💬

Time: 3 minutes

Here, you’ll discuss the feedback openly but respectfully. Start by creating the right environment for honest sharing to take place.

Here's an intro you could make, “Let's take some time to openly and candidly talk about how we have worked as a team during this project and how we can make improvements. Before we start, let's all agree that everyone did the best that they could given their knowledge and tools. So let's all be kind when sharing feedback. Nothing we share here will be held against anyone, and no blame will be allowed.”

4. Trip down memory lane 😁

Time: 5 minutes

Tools: Timer, Poll

Start an open-ended poll and set a timer for 4 minutes.

Invite everyone to take a moment and reflect back on the key moments of the project so far: the kick-off, goals reached, milestones, setbacks, challenges, celebrations.

Read them out loud as they come and add your own.

5. Reflection Time 💭

Time: 15 minutes

Tools: Timer, Miro Board

This is dedicated reflection time. To start, open the Miro board (here’s an example you can copy).

Explain the four lists to the team: LOVED, LONGED FOR, LACKED, and LEARNED.

  • LOVED: What did you love about your work over the time period? What do you want to keep doing or do more of in the future?
  • LONGED FOR: What do you wish you'd had? It could be more people, more time, or more coffee. Nothing is off the table.
  • LACKED: What made life worse back then? What did the team lack? What do you hope will never happen again?
  • LEARNED: What did you learn from your successes and your mistakes?

Set a timer for 10 minutes for everyone to add their own thoughts to each list in the Miro board.

6. Plant the change seed 🌱

Time: 12 minutes

Tools: Breakout Groups, Miro Board

What change actions will you take? Keeping the Miro board open, give everyone 10 minutes, as a team, or in breakout groups, to discuss:

  • One action you’ll take to remove something from your LACKED list.
  • One action you’ll take to amplify something from your LOVED list.
  • Use your LONGED FOR and LEARNED lists to help shape your ideas for what actions to take.

7. Share your next steps 🐾

Time: 15 minutes

Tools: Miro Board

Keeping the Miro board open, give each person or group 10 minutes to share their plan. Use the actions list to capture each action. Make sure to include who will do it, what they are doing, and by when.

Use the rest of the time to commit to when you’ll track progress on actions (e.g. next team meetings or at the next retrospective).

8. Check-out 🦸

Time: 3 minutes

Head over to the chat, and answer this question with a GIF: If I could wake up tomorrow with a superpower, I hope it would be...

About the creator

Anamaria Dorgo is the Head of Community at Butter. Her mission is to create a space where facilitators, workshoppers, trainers, design thinkers, and innovation and strategy consultants can team up, share best practices, tackle challenges collectively, and accelerate their careers together with like-minded people. 🙌


30-60 mins


Strategy & Planning
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