As a Scrum master to a distributed team, one of my favorite times is during the upcoming weeks. I have the team fully in one location, ready to collaborate. This, of course, means no more retrospectives through a digital whiteboard, and I can let my creative side come up with a retrospective. To get my international colleagues a bit more up to speed with Dutch culture I created the F1 retrospective, with a focus on the Verstappen family. Most people nowadays will know Max Verstappen, who is doing really great at F1. But I grew up with the pride of Limburg (where my family is from), Jos Verstappen. The father of Max, but with quite a different career.

The f1 retrospective


Prepare the retrospective by printing out three pictures (or draw them if you can do). The first one is Max Verstappen popping a bottle of champagne after winning a race. This stands for all the good things that happened in the sprint, that we can celebrate.

Max Verstappen with Champagne

The second picture is a picture of his father Jos crashing. He did not have such a successful career as his son, with only finishing 3rd two times in his entire career. And quite a bit of crashing. This picture stands for everything in our sprint that is not going great, and we should improve or stop doing it.

Jos Verstappen crashing

The last picture is of the DRS button on the F1 racing steer. This allows the racers, in some specific scenarios to get a speed boost. This stands for all the things the team can do to go a bit faster, or in scrum terms, get a higher velocity next sprint.

Steer with DRS button


After you printed all the pictures, put them on a whiteboard, and let your attendees put on the post-its in the categories. Try to get a brief summary of why that person puts it up, but do not try to go in-depth right away.

f1 retrospective

When all post-its have been posted, let the attendees group them together. Are there any post-its that belong to the same category? During the retrospective, we found that several post-its were caused by one incident, so these can be grouped together.

After all, post-its are put in a group, it is time for the group to dot vote on the groups. Give every team member 3 votes, which they can spend in any manner they want. When all votes are placed, gather the top 3 groups, and discuss which action points the team can come up with. I usually use the following conversations starters:

  • (If it is something good) How can we make sure we keep doing this in the next sprint?
  • (if it is something bad) How can we make sure we won’t have this issue in the next sprint?

Some thoughts

The F1 retrospective is a retrospective that can be used to lighten the mood. I noticed the fact that Jos Verstappen, famous for crashing is involved, helps to get a laugh and be more open. Not all team members might be interested, or aware of Formula 1, so it might be wise to do an introduction to what everything means.

Note: This f1 retrospective was hosted before Max won the world championship. If you have some true f1 fans on your team, you can make a version of the title-deciding moment. Create Columns with Max, Hamilton, Masi. Or create your own custom retrospective with my retrospective ideas.

This retrospective is part of the Retrospective Challenge 2020, check out the article are you interested in more retrospectives. Sign up for the newsletter and you won’t have to miss any new posts, articles, or personal updates.