3 Simple Steps for a Productive Project Retrospective


To ensure you’re always working smarter: take what works and fix what doesn’t.


Project Retrospectives don’t need to be complicated or a waste of time. To the contrary, we’ve found that looking back is the key to moving forward.

Here’s a glimpse into how we’ve worked our commitment to “listen, learn, deliver” into our own work process. Feel free to adopt and adapt!

1. Invite the Team

Who should be in your project retrospective? As many people as you can fit in the biggest room you’ve got!

Depending on your team’s size, this may or not be practical, but we’d suggest erring on the side of too many.

It’s obvious that those involved with the project should be in the meeting, but the fresh perspective from other colleagues really pays dividends when you get to the “what can we learn” part of the meeting (more on that later).

2. Create the space

Creating an open space to discuss how a project went is key because acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses form the basis of a good retrospective. Make sure everyone knows that they can admit where they fell short without feeling like a failure, and where they shone without feeling like a braggart.

3. Answer “the Question”

Having a clear agenda sets any meeting up for success, but we’ve found particular success by giving the meeting a bit more of an informal feel so long as the following questions are sufficiently answered.

  1. What did you like about this project?

  2. What didn’t you like?

  3. What was the most productive phase of this project?

  4. Who do you think brought the most value to this project and why?

  5. What went wrong with this project?

  6. Looking back, what was the first sign of trouble?

  7. What did you learn?


Download a Project Retrospective Template (PDF)