Family Circle retrospective

Sprint retrospective idea – Create a “family” with the team

What is the Family Circle retrospective?

Our work team is often an extension of our family. We spend so much time with them, so it’s important to acknowledge and respect the part they play in our lives. One of the best ways to do so might be through this creative retrospective using the family circle. Each caricature in the Family Circle represents an aspect of the agile learning and professional development framework. Each family member brings a new perspective or outlook but are all important in the overall schema of life.

As you can see from the question set, this is not about identifying people per se but more about aspects of the product or sprint that can be considered in the context of the family life cycle.

Family Circle retrospective format


What is something new we are doing or want to do? This could be a new feature, process or design we want to put in place.

Golden Child

What is performing well? This may have been things that have delighted the customer, positive feedback from the product owner or key metrics that have been met.


What is stable and reliable? Areas that have been a solid performer, where changes had been implemented and not had any issues or bugs.


What situations or people have we learned from? These are stories, learnings or experiences that would be good to share with the other people in the team.

Long Lost Relative

What is on the horizon? Looking towards into the future, these are potential opportunities or challenges that are coming up.

Suggested Icebreaker questions for Family Circle retrospective

  • Name a toy you loved when you were a kid.
  • Who is your favourite relative and why?
  • Which role in the family do you think is the most fun?

Retro Rehearsal

Invite your team to rehearse the retro referencing a place.

For example, in a bushland setting, what would represent the baby, golden child, adult, grandparent, or long-lost relative?

Ideas and tips for your Family Circle retrospectives

  • If you have a remote team, ask each person to share a childhood toy that they loved. Then call it out and have people try and guess who would have had that toy. This is a cute, rapport-building ice breaker that can help you find out more about the team.

  • Pepper the room or a virtual wall with family photos. A great example is having people share a baby photo as a fun and engaging bonding activity as well as introduce the theme of the retrospective.

  • Each person of the family is important and brings something to the table. There are joys and challenges that each one brings so this is a way for the team to figure out how they might best support the new baby through reconnecting with long-lost relatives (Opportunities).

  • Give people “silent time” to write, read and respond to what is being presented. It might just be a minute that can make all the difference.

  • You’ll get interesting insights when people vote individually. A good way to think about this is to ask everyone which member of the “family” seems to be getting the most attention and why.

  • Give a shout-out to the team at the end of the meeting.

  • In face-to-face meetings, doing things digitally allows you to collect ideas, vote, and comment anonymously, and saves manual collation. If running your meeting digitally, use a video conferencing tool to give that personal touch.

  • Rotate the role of facilitator. Changing the role can break the routine.

  • Follow up with an action list that you will check off at the start of the next team retro.

How to run a Family Circle 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.