Running a Sticky Notes in Columns retrospective in Retrium

The most traditional and well-known style of a retrospective is one where team members write sticky notes within labeled columns. We recommend running this type of retrospective first and at the end of each sprint.

We offer several templates including:

  • What went well, what didn't go well
  • Mad, Sad, Glad
  • Stop, Start, Continue
  • 4Ls - Liked, Learned, Lacked, Longed For
  • WRAP - Wishes, Risks, Appreciations, Puzzles
  • Lean Coffee (TM) 

How to Run a Sticky Notes in Columns Retrospective

1. For the first step of this type of retrospective you'll gather and share feedback and ideas with your team, and each person gets a chance to add their thoughts. Just click the "create a note" button under each column header to create a note in the corresponding column.

 2. You'll be able to see your notes, but the notes of team members will be blurred out. This is to minimize groupthink and allow everyone to brainstorm without the influence of others.

3. When the team is ready to move on, the facilitator will use the action menu in the bottom right to move to the next phase. The facilitator can also use the action menu to start a timebox. As a participant, you can use the action menu to take over as the facilitator if you would like.

4. During grouping, everyone can discuss which notes fit together into themes or topics they want to discuss together. The facilitator pulls notes together into groups and then gives those groups a title.

5. After grouping is complete and the facilitator moves the team onto the voting phase, each person can select how they would like to distribute their votes among the themes or notes on the board.

6. After voting is done and the facilitator moves the team onto the discussion step, the theme with the most votes will appear first. As you scroll through the topics, they are in order based on the number of votes (from most to least), and the team can choose how many they would like to discuss.

7. During the discussion the facilitator can also add action items, which you can review at the end of the retrospective.

8. Optionally, after your retrospective, you can review your Team Room history.