The Retrospective: A Personal Review Template

Sam Tackeff
9 min readJan 18, 2022

Welcome, dear reader! Fair warning: I’ll get into the weeds, but that’s so often the good stuff! This is my download after more than a decade with this process in practice. I’m always looking to shape and tweak this process as time goes by. If you have your own methods, I’d love to hear about them!

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

In the mid 2000’s, I made my way into tech in San Francisco, where I dove into agile methodologies, and learned first hand the power of the Retrospective, a (mindful) practice held on a regular cadence, focused on looking back and learn from the past few weeks of work.

Somehow, thousands of engineers and analytical brains had latched onto a process that at the core felt deeply creative. I was fascinated to see how well it worked in the workplace to achieve a number of things: including reflection, celebration, healthy evaluation.

In a retro, we ask two questions at the end of a work sprint in a retro:

🏆 What worked well? and 🤔 What could we improve?

I like a third optional question: ⛔️ What should we stop doing? (My version of the “No List”.)

The Retro becomes a regular part of workflow. There’s a predictable cadence that makes it easily repeatable (and non-negotiable). It allows you to learn from your work…



Sam Tackeff

Co-Founder, Ompractice. Wellness + Productivity. Culinary Adventurer. Previously: Runkeeper / Square / Omnivore Books. Exeter//Wellesley