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Retrospective Quick Tips

Agile Practices 101

Retrospectives for Everyone! Tools for Building Creative and Effective Retrospectives

Retrium Team

It is hard to keep using the same retrospective technique on repeat after listening to Madhavi Ledalla explain how she uses everyday items and experience to create informative workflows and inspire valuable retrospective conversations.

Author of the new book, Retrospectives for Everyone! Madhavi Ledalla is an agile coach with a love of helping teams communicate more effectively. One of her favorite tools? The retrospective. 

The Benefits of Retrospectives 

As Madhavi explains, our brains are constantly developing and rewiring as we learn and take in new information. One of the best ways to encourage that growth in teams is to examine issues from multiple perspectives. And if your team is using the same retrospective technique over and over again, it becomes hard to gain those new perspectives on team growth. 

How do you start building Retrospectives for Everyone? 

Like any building project, it is important to start by asking, “what is the purpose?” Madhavi defines six purposes or “framework clusters” to consider before choosing a retrospective technique. 

Framework Clusters Include:

  • Manage Change
  • State Of Mind
  • Nurture Teamwork
  • Product Leadership
  • Going Beyond The Routine 
  • Personal Reflection

Retrospectives can be about so much more than clearing a backlog, as Madhavi clarifies. Using the time set aside for retrospectives (or even creating time for yourself) to examine the systems that impact your work can inspire new ideas and even act as a catalyst for complete transformations. 

Creating a Retrospective On Purpose 

Once you have decided on the framework you wish to work, use relatable items to help guide your discussion. Madhavi outlined a few ways she has used a framework to create or modify techniques to meet her team’s individual needs. 

The Fly High Technique To Nurture Teamwork

You may have heard of the Fly High Retrospective Technique to examine issues impacting your team, but Madhavi shows that by using the analogy of a kite caught on a powerline with a broken string your team can examine impediments to positive teamwork that are both within and beyond the team’s control.   

Using A Product Eel to Review Product Leadership


Inspired by a trip to the Singapore Aquarium, this framework changes the focus from your team to the product. When working with product developers, Madhavi uses this technique to brainstorm product and feature ideas that would “shock” all the competition away. 💥

A Caged Bird For Going Beyond The Routine

We often think of retrospectives as a way to work through product or campaign development, but when examined through the perspective of a caged bird that has just been released, you stop looking at what you can’t do and start looking for new opportunities that may not be so far out of reach. 

Chemistry Sets For Personal Reflection

As Madhavi explained throughout her presentation, we as people often focus on what is holding us back. For this retrospective, we look at all the reasons we should move forward. What is our goal and what events, experiences, or circumstances can we use to propel our actions forward?

Complex Problems Require Complex Workflows

You have created these different techniques to meet your team’s needs, so what next? Start combining! Madhavi acknowledges that teams often have complex issues and part of the goal of these techniques is to view these issues from different perspectives. So, by combining these different techniques into more complex workflows, your team is able to dive deeper into issues that are affecting them and come up with solutions and action items that you may have missed by only doing one type of retrospective. 

“Embrace the real world!”  

If you would like to learn more, view the full webinar above or checkout Madhavi Ledella’s new book, Retrospectives For Everyone! Available now. 

Want to hear about the next webinar? Register below to receive early invites to upcoming Retrium events!

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