How do I run a Sticky Note retrospective in Retrium?

Learn how the phases of a sticky note retro work and view Retrium's many different template options

The most traditional and well-known style of a retrospective is one where team members write sticky notes within labeled columns. If you are new to retrospectives, we recommend trying out this type of retrospective first and then running it at the end of each sprint.

Sticky Note Templates in Retrium

We offer a variety of templates you can choose from, including:

How to Run a Sticky Note Retrospective

THINK Phase

  • Before you start, the Facilitator will have the option to modify the column titles and descriptions. 

📌 Facilitators: Whether your team is new to agile or just new to a technique, teams need additional guidance on what the column titles in your retrospective mean. You can add full descriptions to help your team better align on which ideas to share in each column, setting the stage for a productive and meaningful discussion.

  • During this phase, each person gets a chance to add their thoughts. Just click the "create a note" button under each column header to create a note in the corresponding column. 

  • You'll be able to see your own notes, but the notes of team members will be blurred out. This is to minimize groupthink and allow everyone to brainstorm without the influence of others.

  • The facilitator can choose to reveal the notes for collaborative brainstorming before progressing to the next phase.

  • When the team is ready to move on, the facilitator will click the orange arrow in the bottom nav bar to move to the next phase.

GROUP Phase

  • During grouping, everyone will drag and drop notes that fit together into themes or topics they want to discuss together. Add titles to card groups to help stay organized.   You can choose to group silently or out loud together. 

  • When the team is ready to move on, the facilitator will click the orange arrow in the bottom nav bar to move to the next phase.

VOTE Phase

  • Retrium uses dot voting during this phase. 

  • Each person will get the same number of votes and can select how they would like to distribute their votes among the themes or notes on the board.

  • When the team is ready to move on, the facilitator will click on the orange arrow in the bottom nav bar to move to the next phase.

DISCUSS Phase

  • When entering the discussion phase, the columns will disappear the topic or card with the most votes will appear first. 

  • We recommend using the timer during the discuss phase to help keep the team on track. The facilitator can set the timer by clicking on the clock icon at the bottom of the screen

  • During the discussion, the facilitator can also add action items by clicking on the Add Action Item button in the upper righthand corner of the page. 

  • The topics are automatically ordered based on the number of votes (from most to least), and the team can choose how many they would like to discuss.

  • Optionally, after your retrospective, you can review the action items in the Team Room history.

  • When the team is ready to move on, the facilitator will click on the orange arrow in the bottom nav bar to move to the next phase.

CLOSE Phase

  • The close phase is intended for participants to rate the retro they just completed. 

  • Participants will have one vote to cast a rating on a scale of 1-5, answering the question, "Was this retro worth our time?" These votes are anonymous.

  • When everyone has completed voting, the facilitator can reveal the results to see the average score and a list of recommendations for what to do with this information. 

  • These results are stored in the Team Room History tab, making it easy to view changes over time.