As the end of the year approaches, it’s a great time for agile teams to celebrate their accomplishments and prepare for the challenges ahead. This is a perfect time to recognize successes, learn from past experiences, and plan enthusiastically for the following year.
I’ve designed this End-of-Year Holiday-Themed Retrospective to leverage the festive spirit of the celebrations in order to foster engagement within the team, offering a unique and joyful approach to this Scrum Ceremony.
- 1 Purpose of this retrospective model
- 2 Duration
- 3 Materials and Setup
- 4 Icebreaker: Tree of personal Success (15 min)
- 5 Retrospective: The Year's Achievements and Challenges (30min)
- 6 Action Plan - Resolutions for the Coming Year (20 min):
- 7 Conclusion - End of Year Celebration (10 min) :
- 8 Online Miro Board Template for Retrospective Facilitation
- 9 Discover Our Other Retrospectives Templates
Purpose of this retrospective model
As we approach the end of the year, it’s a fantastic opportunity for agile teams to celebrate their achievements and gear up for the challenges that lie ahead. This period offers the perfect chance to acknowledge successes, draw insights from the experiences of the past year, and eagerly plan for the year to come.
Plan for a duration of 60 to 90 minutes for this retrospective. This flexible time frame allows each activity to unfold naturally and encourages a dynamic pace without feeling rushed. Feel free to adjust the duration of each section based on the specific needs and dynamics of your team.
Materials and Setup
For in-person retrospectives, a physical whiteboard is ideal, while remote teams can utilize a Miro Board as an interactive space. Enhance the atmosphere with festive decorations such as garlands, lights, and stars, whether in a physical or virtual setting. The link to the Miro template (also compatible with Klaxoon and Draft.io) is provided at the end of this article.
Icebreaker: Tree of personal Success (15 min)
Start this Sprint retrospective with a creative and collaborative activity. Draw a large tree on your Miro Board. Then invite each team member to write a personal highlight of the year on a Post-it note and place it on the tree. But let’s go one step further: encourage everyone to decorate the tree with images, GIFs or other festive visual elements.
This approach adds an interactive and personalized dimension to the activity. By decorating the tree together, team members not only share their personal successes, but also help create a collective work that represents the spirit and values of the team. It is a fun and engaging way to start the session, which promotes creative expression and strengthens team cohesion.
Retrospective: The Year's Achievements and Challenges (30min)
The retrospective is based on a review and analysis of the team’s successes and challenges over the year. The aim of this stage is to promote a global understanding of the experience and pave the way for continuous improvement.
This retrospective template consists of two columns/areas:
Team Successes : Encourage each member to reflect on the year’s successes and key positive moments for the team. These successes can include goals achieved, successful projects and releases.
Challenges: Similarly, ask the team to consider the main obstacles and difficulties encountered. What were the challenges, failures or lessons learned? These reflections should be noted in the “Challenges” section, forming the basis for future action plans.
The analysis of successes and challenges is essential for a balanced understanding of the past year. It fosters a culture of continuous learning and development, laying the foundations for an even more successful year ahead.
Action Plan - Resolutions for the Coming Year (20 min):
In this last section of the Retrospective, we introduce a third column, “Greeting Cards for the Year Ahead”. Here, the team will transform the challenges discussed above into concrete commitments for the New Year.
Each team member will be invited to write a card symbolizing a goal or resolution they wish to achieve. These cards will serve as visual and inspiring reminders of both collective and individual objectives, strengthening team spirit and determination to progress together towards a successful year.
Conclusion - End of Year Celebration (10 min) :
Conclude with a festive celebration to honor the past year. Share positive hopes and aspirations for the upcoming year, strengthening the team’s optimism and unity. Express gratitude to all participants, emphasizing the significance of each individual’s contribution to the team’s collective success.
Online Miro Board Template for Retrospective Facilitation
Discover Our Other Retrospectives Templates
We invite you to browse our blog to explore a variety of other creative and engaging retrospective templates. Find inspiration to energize your agile ceremonies and maximize your team’s continuous improvement: