What Went Well Retrospective

A focused meeting where team members reflect on recent activities to identify and celebrate the positive aspects of their work.


What is What Went Well Retrospective?

A What Went Well Retrospective is a focused meeting or session held by teams at the conclusion of a project milestone, sprint, or any significant period of work. Its primary objective is to identify and celebrate the positive aspects, successes, and achievements of the team's recent activities.

This retrospective format emphasizes creating a positive and constructive environment where team members can reflect on their accomplishments and acknowledge what went right during the project. It is an opportunity for team members to share their achievements, recognize their contributions, and appreciate the efforts of their colleagues.

By highlighting what went well, teams can not only celebrate their successes but also gain valuable insights into the factors that contributed to their positive outcomes. These insights can inform future decision-making, reinforce effective practices, and foster a culture of continuous improvement within the team.

How to Run What Went Well Retrospective?

Running a What Went Well retrospective involves the following steps

  1. Set the Stage: Begin by creating a positive and open atmosphere. Emphasize the purpose of the retrospective, which is to celebrate successes and achievements.
  2. Gather Input: Encourage team members to reflect individually on the recent iteration or project and jot down what they believe went well. This can include accomplishments, positive developments, effective collaborations, or any other aspects that contributed to success.
  3. Share Insights: Invite each team member to share their observations with the group. Encourage open dialogue and active listening. Emphasize the importance of recognizing both big wins and small victories.
  4. Identify Patterns: Look for common themes or patterns among the shared successes. This could highlight specific strengths of the team or recurring strategies that led to positive outcomes.
  5. Reflect and Appreciate: Take a moment to reflect on the significance of the identified successes. Express gratitude to team members for their contributions and acknowledge the collective effort that led to success.
  6. Generate Actionable Insights: While the focus of this retrospective is on celebrating achievements, it's also essential to extract valuable lessons. Discuss how the team can leverage these successes in future endeavors and identify any opportunities for improvement.
  7. Document Results: Record the key insights, successes, and action items from the retrospective session. This documentation serves as a valuable reference for future retrospectives and ensures that the team's achievements are recognized and celebrated over time.
  8. Close on a Positive Note: End the retrospective on an uplifting and motivational tone. Reiterate the importance of recognizing success and maintaining a growth mindset moving forward.

Columns in What Went Well Retrospective

The What Went Well retrospective typically includes the following columns

  • What Went Well: This column is used to capture and celebrate the positive aspects and successes of the project or period. Team members share what went right and contributed to the overall success. It helps reinforce behaviors and practices that should be continued.
  • What Didn't Go Well: In this column, team members can reflect on aspects that didn't go as planned or were perceived as setbacks. It's an opportunity to acknowledge challenges and areas for improvement. Identifying these areas can lead to corrective actions in future projects.
  • What Can Be Improved: Team members use this column to suggest ideas or strategies for improvement based on their reflections. It's a proactive approach to address any shortcomings identified during the retrospective. This column helps foster a culture of continuous improvement within the team.

When to do a What Went Well Retrospective

The What Went Well Retrospective is particularly beneficial in the following scenarios:

  • End of a Project or Sprint: Conduct this retrospective at the conclusion of a project milestone, sprint, or iteration. It allows the team to reflect on their accomplishments and celebrate successes before moving on to the next phase.
  • Positive Momentum: When the team is experiencing positive momentum or achieving significant milestones, it's an ideal time to conduct a What Went Well Retrospective. Recognizing and celebrating successes can help maintain motivation and morale.
  • Periodic Check-ins: Incorporate this retrospective into regular team check-ins or meetings to maintain a focus on achievements and continuous improvement. It provides an opportunity to acknowledge progress and reinforce positive behaviors.
  • After Challenging Periods: Following challenging or stressful periods, such as tight deadlines or complex projects, conducting a What Went Well Retrospective can help uplift the team's spirits, boost morale, and remind everyone of their accomplishments amidst difficulties.

How can you conduct a What Went Well retrospective with Agilebin?

Effortlessly conduct a What Went Well retrospective with Agilebin's ready-to-use template!

Why Agilebin's template? Because it provides a realistic and immersive experience, making your What Went Well retrospective feel authentic and meaningful. With Agilebin's ready-to-use template, you'll feel like you're navigating through the actual process, allowing for a more effective and insightful retrospective session.

Choose What Went Well retrospective template in Agilebin

Choose the What Went Well Retrospective template from Agilebin's collection of retrospective templates. This template is specifically designed to facilitate the What Went Well Retrospective process, providing a structured framework for your team's reflection and improvement discussions

Invite team members to participate in the retrospective session

Invite team members to participate in the retrospective session by adding their email addresses or sharing the session link directly with them. You can choose between public access using a link, allowing anyone with the link to join, or restricted access, limiting participation to specific users or teams.


Facilitate Discussion with Sticky Notes

Agilebin offers pre-defined columns for the What Went Well Retrospective, including "Birds (Highlights)," "Storm Clouds (Challenges)," "Sandbags (Barriers or Issues)," and "Forest (Opportunities for Growth)." Participants can add sticky notes to each column during the retrospective session, sharing their feedback, observations, and suggestions