Running a Retrospective

An agenda for facilitating a retro inside an agile team.

Running a Retrospective

A retrospective is an hour long meeting held at the end of an iteration. The entire team should attend that participated in that iteration's output. The goal of a retro is to provide a forum for team members to have constructive conversations about the process of working together. A retro provides the opportunity to iterate your team's process.

Trello board set up

As a facilitator you should setup a blank Trello board like the image below. Create the 4 following columns:

  • :) - Things that went well
  • :| - Things that were meh or unsure
  • :( - Things that need improvement or did not go well.
  • Action items - Items we want to improve during the next iteration.

Once you have the board set you need to turn on voting and grab the shareable link inside the menu. You are going to want to make it easy for everyone on your team to join your board to contribute during the meeting. To enable voting go to show menu → Power-Ups → Enable Voting. Then go back a step to copy and paste the shareable link.

Getting started

The first step is to have the team browse through their prioritization board whether that is in Trello, Pivotal Tracker, or Jira (I hope not that latter). It is helpful to pull it up on the screen and just quickly chat through the stories that were completed as people file into the room.


  • Card creation - 5 minutes
  • Grouping and de-duping - 2 minutes
  • Voting - 3 minutes
  • Analysis and conversation - remaining time

Card creation

Once everyone is situated you set a timer for 5 minutes. Everyone writes down at minimum 3-5 cards (depending on team size) on how this last iteration went and places their cards in the Trello board. You should encourage a diversity of ideas - not everything should be in the good column.

Grouping and de-duping

Look for cards that are very similar and combine them into one. Try to group related stories near each other but do not move cards into different columns.


Set a timer for 3 minutes and tell everyone to vote on a card they want to talk about. Each person on the team gets 5 votes. Once voting concludes you should move all the cards with the most number of votes to the top of each column.

Analysis and conversation

Take the remaining time to talk about the stories that had the most votes. Foster a constructive conversation within the team and if any action items need to be addressed, document those and assign an owner. The next time you have a retro you can pull up this board to see if you were able to address those concerns.

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