Energy Levels retrospective

Retrospective Idea – A check in, team building mechanism and retrospective all in one!

What is the Energy Levels retrospective?

The Energy Levels retrospective is three handy agile tools in one! Firstly, it can be a retrospective that shows you how people’s energy levels were impacted in the last sprint. Secondly, it is a great check-in for the team to share what their current energy levels are. Finally, it can be used as a barometer for team morale.

Like the Mad Sad Glad retrospective, the Energy Levels exercise frames discussions. It lets you know what is giving them energy or draining them. It also reflects how much effort a task took which helps to assess if it was worthwhile and should be repeated.

The dimensions this retrospective uses can be carried beyond the retrospective to, say, the morning standup. This can help a team leader monitor how members feel about their work. After all, when energy levels are low for an extended period of time, low morale isn’t too far behind.

Energy Levels retrospective format

Full battery

What energized you in the last sprint? What made you feel great or give you a real buzz? What felt effortless?

Medium Battery

What took up the right amount of energy in the last sprint? What was delivered as planned?

Low Battery

What drained you in the last sprint? What took a lot longer than you thought it should?


What will re-energize you for the next sprint? What are you looking forward to?

This style of retrospective can be used when your team is having trouble completing a task. Having the ability to see what has been slowing you down and what you have achieved despite this, can be helpful in providing confidence when trying to complete a difficult task.

Suggested icebreaker questions for the Energy Levels retrospective

  • What charges your personal battery?
  • What do you prefer (explain why)
    • A high-energy task that takes an hour
    • A low-energy task that takes all-day
  • Allocate an Energy Levels dimension to the following tasks. Explain why you have allocated them that way.
    • Shopping during a sale
    • Driving in a peak hour traffic
    • Networking at a conference
    • A retrospective meeting

Retro Rehearsal

Use the Energy Levels retrospective to review your plans for the weekend. What will help re-energize you?

Ideas and tips for your Energy Levels retrospective

  • To use as a check-in: Before the meeting, have each team member nominate which of the batteries best represents them. If a team member offers their energy levels are low, take the time to check in with them a couple of times after the retrospective. Ask how you can support them.
  • To support team morale: Use the batteries as a reference point outside of the retrospective (first thing on a Monday, at the daily standup, or even at the end of the day). This offers a quick feedback loop (especially if it’s a rough sprint). It is a way to ask about each other’s well-being without being intrusive.
  • Rotate the Scrum Master. This will change the voices that are heard and give people a chance to contribute to the retrospective in a different way.
  • Use a Return on Time Invested (ROTI) tool to monitor the effectiveness of your meeting.
  • Keep your team agreements in view during your retrospective. Remember you can add to them at any time.
  • Make the most of your presentation mode and drill down into ideas at the brainstorming, grouping as well as discussion stages of your retrospective. This will let those who contributed the input the chance to explain and feel heard.

How to run an Energy Levels retrospective in TeamRetro

Start Agile Retrospective

Start your retrospective in a click
Log into TeamRetro and choose your sprint retrospective template.

Invite Your Team
Invite your team easily – no separate accounts needed
Send an email invite, a link or add to your Slack channel to get people started quickly. SSO options are also available.
Agile Retrospective Brainstorm
Time to brainstorm
Each team member can now brainstorm individually under each topic. This avoids group think and allows everyone to have their say. They can indicate when they have finished, or you can set a timer so that you know when to move onto the next stage.
Grouping of ideas after brainstorming in a retrospective meeting
Group related ideas
Drag and drop  related ideas to combine them for easier voting. TeamRetro can also automatically suggest ideas that are similar, saving you and your team valuable time.
Grouping of ideas after brainstorming in a retrospective meeting
Vote independently to avoid anchoring
Each team member votes on what they would most like to discuss further. The results won’t be displayed to everyone until you advance to Discuss.
Grouping of ideas after brainstorming in a retrospective meeting

Discuss the most important things first
You and your team discuss the top voted ideas and can capture deep dive comments.  Presentation mode allows you to walk your team through ideas one-by-one and keep the conversation focused.

Grouping of ideas after brainstorming in a retrospective meeting

Review and create actions

Easily facilitate discussion by bringing everyone onto the same page. Create action items, assign owners and due dates that will carry through for review at the next retrospective.

Grouping of ideas after brainstorming in a retrospective meeting

Share the results
Once you have finished your retro, you can share the results and actions with the team. Your retro will be stored so you can revisit them as needed.

Congratulations! You’ve just run a retro like a boss.
Want more? Read on.