The time around Christmas is the perfect time to look back on the last year. Before everyone packs up for their holidays, it might be the perfect time to do the last retrospective of the year. And while everyone is in cheerful holiday spirits it should be a fun one! What present should be under your tree? And what grumpy stakeholder deserves a lump of coal? That is where the Christmas retrospective comes into play!

Christmas retrospective format

The Christmas retrospective is a classic retrospective. There are several columns on the board where team members can post their post-its, to be discussed. To start create 4 columns on your whiteboard tool of choice (ps. I wrote a review on Retrium, the tool I use to host retrospectives). Create the following columns.

Make sure the team is in a fun mood as well. For instance, this Christmas retrospective can be a great excuse for everyone to wear their ugly Christmas sweater. Or grab a cup of hot chocolate.

Santa’s sleigh

What is in Santa’s sleigh for the team? If you could get anything to improve things for the team what would you want from Santa?

Under the tree

If you could find anything under the tree Christmas morning to make your life/ job better what would you ask for?

Lump of coal

What is like a lump of coal for you and/or the team? Is there anything you thought would be a nice present but turned out to be a lump of coal last year?

Thank you santa

What are you grateful or thankful for from this past year?

Christmas retrospective, what did your team get?
What present did your team get?

Facilitating tips

In some teams or cultures, we do not express positive things as much as we do with negatives. As a result, some people do not get as much positive feedback. Try to get your team in the mood with the “Thank you Santa” column. The goal should be that every team member posts at least one thing they are thankful or grateful for.

It might be difficult to remember things that happened a few months back. It can be a good idea to have a timeline of big events ready. In addition, you can ask your team members to bring their brag lists.

I hope you liked this Christmas retrospective! There are more retrospective formats in the retrospective category. If you want to keep up to date you can sign up for the newsletter and never miss another post!