Car Retrospective Model

Are you using any metaphor in your Retrospective meetings?

Using Metaphors in our conversations can help us to understand an object, conversation or action from a different perspective. They can also serve as a powerful tool leading us to think in new or a different way.

This post describes a Car Retrospective Model, a model to talk about Team weather, what is slowing a team down, Team or Sprint Fuel, Sprint Goals and possible improvements for the team.


Here are the model description and facilitation guide. You can use it in Sprint or any other project retrospective meeting.

Car Retro Model KhurramBhatti

Car Retrospective Model

As a facilitator, draw the above diagram and explain it as …

1.  Team Weather

Start the (Sprint) Retrospective with a Team weather Check-in.Screen Shot 2019-03-21 at 17.12.43

  • On physical or digital board, create three legends/diagrams Rainy, Cloudy or Sunny.
  • Ask the participants to write their name on a sticky note and put it under Rainy, Cloudy or Sunny.
  • Gather some insight by asking the team to share the weather status as seen on the board.

2.  What is slowing us down?

Screen Shot 2019-06-09 at 14.26.33In the previous Sprint what slowed us down at team or personal levels for a work item. The examples could be communication, people, process, technical, product level or whatever the team thinks is an impediment.

3.  Team or Sprint Fuel?

Screen Shot 2019-06-09 at 14.26.42In the previous Sprint what were positive highlights? Team or Sprint Fuel examples could be the demonstration of Appreciation, Company values, Scrum Values (Courage, Focus, Openness, Respect, Commitment), Team Values or Team Alliance/Team working agreements.

4.  Have we reached our Sprint Goal?

Screen Shot 2019-06-09 at 14.27.00The purpose of this question is to understand if the time and effort spent were valuable. It is to assess the success of Sprint work.

5.  Future improvements?

Based on the discussion within the team and generated insights, what the team would like to do in next Sprint to improve. Screen Shot 2019-06-09 at 14.27.07

Facilitation Guide

  1. BRAINSTORM: Ask the team to individually write on the sticky notes for below areas and place in the respective area. (10 mins)
    1. What is slowing us down?
    2. The Team or Sprint Fuel
    3. Have we reached our Sprint Goal?
  2. DISCUSS: One by one, each sticky note writer shares thoughts and another team member can comments, repeat for all the sticky notes. (20 mins)
  3. GENERATE INSIGHTS: Ask the team to generate some insights by grouping similar topics and explore them together (5 mins)
  4. IMPROVE: Ask the team to identify sticky note(s) that the team would like to work during upcoming days/weeks/sprint (20 mins)
    • You can use the dot voting (or any other favorite method) to identify the item(s) which is/are slowing the team down and then discuss how the team would like to overcome it.
  5. Retro-Feedback: Ask the team what they would like to do differently in the next Sprint Retrospective (5 mins)

Note: Time is variable and is based on the team members and discussion.

Please give it a try in your next Retrospective meeting and share your experience.

Creative Commons  Attribution CC BY

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