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50 Prompts to unlock creativity in retrospectives

Retrospectives are one of the most powerful tools available to you.

But most people find them:

  • Repetitive

  • Boring

  • Too quiet

Here are 50 ways to shake things up, why not try these as an experiment?


[Clickbait warning] #44 never fails to make me laugh.


Starting with the positives

1. "Sing!" Ed Sheeran

What should we be singing about as a team?

Where should we celebrate?

2. "Hooray! I'm useful"

What value did I bring in the last iteration?

Where did i make an impact?

3. "Don't stop believing"

Where shouldn't we stop believing?

What should we persevere with?

4. "Not all treasure is silver and gold."

What value did we bring? What treasure did we share with the world?

5. 'Touchdown' - NFL

What did we achieve in the last iteration?

Where did we put some 'points' on the board?

Keep these good vibes going!

6. "Child's Play."

What do we make look like child’s play? Where are we making things look easy?


What goals did we score?

What great work did we complete?

8. 'Superlike' What do we superlike as a team?

Who or what should we be celebrating?

9. 'Growing Strong'

Where are we progressing well? What should the team continue doing?

10. 'Another one bites the dust'

What previous retro actions did we crush?

What shit did we get done?

11. "Groovy Baby!"

What’s going well for us?

Where are we in the groove?

12. "How you doin’?"

How are you feeling? What's on your mind?

13. "This isn’t flying.. it’s falling with style" What did we do really well? How did we fall with style?

14. 'Bread Cat' What's work without a little whimsy? How can we enjoy ourselves more?What would make things more fun?

15. "All you need is love"

What kudos do we want to give? What did you love about the last iteration?

#44 makes me smile every time

Now let’s delve into the challenges. Where it didn’t go as planned


Pro tip - There are always opportunities even in the negatives.


Let's shake it off like Tay Tay

16. "Shake it off!"

What do we need to shake off? What failures did we have?

17. "Doh!"

What didn't quite go to plan? What made us say 'Doh'?

18. "You've lost that lovin' feeling" Where have we lost that loving feeling? What do we need to stop doing?

19. 'Death of a Star'

What needs to go supernova? What just isn't working for us?

20. 'Recipe for Disaster'

What leaves a bad taste in our mouths? What's a recipe for our disaster?

21. 'Petrificus Totalus'

What is slowing us down? What has paralysed us?

22. "Separate ways"

What do we need to part ways with? What just isn't working out?

23. 'Fumble'

Where did we drop the ball? How can we avoid it happening again?

24. "Invaders must Die"

Who or what is getting in our way? What invaders do we need to terminate?

25. "I've giv'n her all she's got captain!"

What have we tried that isn't working? Where have we reached our limits?

'Ohhh we're halfway there...'

26. "Woah! Livin' on a prayer!" << You knew it was coming!

What‘s just hopes and prayers? What are we leaving to chance?

27. 'Too long in the oven' - Pizza

What did we overcook? What did we neglect?

28. 'Toxic Team'

What feels toxic to our health? How could we detox?

29. 'Tragedy"

What was a tragedy? What steps do we need to take to improve?

30. Meme it out

One does not simply do what in our team?

Great Scott! Time to go back to the future!

Let’s get goal focused. Retros aren’t just about the past.


Pro tip - Start with your ideal state and reverse engineer it. Futurespection


31. "It's now or never"

What needs action right now? Or, what should be dropped entirely?

32. 'Time Out'

Where do we need to pause and re-think? How could we win the next iteration?

33. "Fire & Blood"

What would light a fire under us? What would motivate us to greater heights?

34. "Partially Done Work"

Too much work in progress? How could we stop starting, start finishing?

35. 'Self Destruct'

What didn't help us achieve our goals? Where did we self destruct?

36. '3 little pigs'

Where are we huffing and puffing? How make our team more resilient?

37. "Harder, better, faster, stronger”

Where could we do more? Where do we need to double efforts?

38. "Your focus determines your reality”

What should we be focusing on? What needs our attention?

39. 'Crocodile'

Crocs have the strongest bite in the animal kingdom.

What should we clamp down on?

40. "One Eyed Willies Treasure"

What treasure do we seek? What does success look like for us?

41. "Lego House"

How should we strengthen our foundations? What could we build in the next?

42. 'Time to Experiment'

Where do we need to experiment? What would bring us new life?

43. 'Prophecy'

What might a prophecy say about us? How can we improve our fate?

44. "Can I offer you an egg is this trying time?" << If you know, you know 😏

What could help you in the future? What might have been useful recently?

45. "To infinity and beyond!"

Let’s look beyond the next iteration. What one thing should we do differently?

46. 'Hot Sauce'

Let’s add some spice to our work? What would fire us up?

47. 'Never say never again'

What should re-try?

What have we learned that has made us reconsider?

48. 'Anxiety Mosquito' - Big Mouth

What are we anxious about? Where do we need to be wary of?

49. "If you had one shot..."

What opportunities should we seize? What chances should we capture?

50. 'Snow White'

What's our poisonous apple? What risks do we need to look out for?

Use these prompts to help boost your retros & keep your teams engaged.


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