Mad, Sad, Glad

Learn how to facilitate the sticky note technique Mad, Sad, Glad.

💡 Take Retrium's Technique Quiz to figure out which retrospective technique best fits the needs of your next retrospective.

This is a popular agile retrospective technique that encourages the team to look at their emotional journey, and it promotes healthy emotional well-being. Team members are encouraged to consider ways to improve morale and create a positive team environment. 

If you want to learn how the team feels after the previous sprint or at the end of a project, "mad, sad, glad" is a straightforward option that is easy to explain and run. Use this template when you want to: 

  1. Highlight different perspectives of shared experiences on the team, or

  2. Consider how systems and processes are affecting the team and individual morale, or 

  3. Take a closer look at the impact a specific event may have had on the team.

Facilitating the Process

The process of running this type of retrospective in Retrium works like this:

  1. Everyone brainstorms ideas to add to sticky notes under the "mad," "sad," and "glad" columns in the "think" phase
  2. The team then organizes sticky notes they with to discuss together during the "group" stage 
  3. Everyone privately votes on which notes or groups they think are important to discuss during the "vote" phase
  4. Retrium organizes the most important topics in order of votes during the "discuss" step, where your team can choose to discuss one or more items and turn the next steps into specific action items
  5. The team can then reflect on the effectiveness of the retrospective as a whole during the "close" phase, and your team can choose to review those results before concluding the meeting