The Movie Retro

Agile Retrospective – Movie Day



This is my take on the movie retrospective that a little bit of googling will find. The first site I found it at was feel free to go and read the original, I haven’t adapted it a great deal.

I tend to target all my retrospectives to be complete within an hour, occasionally longer or shorter is good, but an hour is a good target for keeping the team engaged for the complete retro



A set of cards with pictures of different movie title and characters from movies.

The standard retro toolkit – whiteboard, markers, post its

Optional Prep

An intro vid of a few of your favourite movie clips.

Popcorn and other movie related snacks or similar theming.



Get each team member to grab 10 – 12 movie cards, I’ve started by giving a random selection to each person and then letting them shuffle a few cards from their set into the pool of cards and choose ones that they like more. Note at this point the team don’t really know what we are going to do with the cards. I’ve found this retro is one that is probably better as a one off, a surprise element helps it flow better.

Get each team member to select a card that represents their feeling about the sprint, share on a count of 3. Then get each team member to elucidate as to why they chose that card – this is the important part, getting each member of the team to emote the reasons why that card is appropriate.

Gathering feedback

Next we walk through different aspects of the sprint using the same method. I walked through the following items, reviewing each one using the cards:

·         Each story delivered, in turn

·         Each scrum ceremony, in turn.

·         Team working (if you spotted anything in sprint you could either include it as an individual question)

·         Individual contribution.


While the team are discussing their movie decisions and explaining the choices you need to pick out themes positive or negative and note them down for later use, pay attention to re-occurring themes or ones that get quick team consensus as the ones most likely needing higher priority consideration.

Identify Actions


We all know a retrospective without some changes to improve the team is not really a retrospective. So in this section we run through the list of items you noted. Ask the team to prioritise the top 3 or 4 issues (positive or negative) that were emoted in the feedback gathering. Now brainstorm action items to close or improve each of the issues. Let the team choose actions to take as experiments in the next sprint either by quick consensus (in the case of really obvious ones) or use a mechanism such as dot voting or a quick pairwise comparison tree to select the ones to implement.