Sailboat Retrospective with a Twist

Introducing the sailboat retrospective

The sailboat retrospective lets the team have a an island representing the goal to reach, have the wind as external factors helping the team, anchors that hold the team back, and rocks as risks that the team would have to overcome. Each team member can add some of these items to the picture to indicate what factors they think are important.

Adding sprints to the mix

Because of the fact that we, as many other teams, had a deadline, I was searching for a way to get some perspective on where we were standing with regards to the goal we were trying to achieve. So I decided to create a poster with a whiteboard film and adapt the sailboat retrospective to include "sprint wave lines". This allowed the team to indicate what they thought to expect the next few sprints and what route the boat would take before reaching land. Reaching land in a certain sprint would indicate a next version of the product. Then each team member would indicate what the product would contain and whether it would be feasible. This also allowed some additional discussion about further development of basic implemented features.

Perspective and variation

If you want put some perspective in your retro to get some bearing for the next product increment you could try this or a similar approach. Besides, the poster can be conveniently drawn upon using whiteboard markers so it can be easily reused for a next time. Having several posters for different retrospectives will allow for easy variation of your retrospectives.

Whiteboard Poster with future sprint lanes and possible routes to the goal