Retrospective: Like, Dislike, Wish with ESVP

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Format: Like, Dislike and Wish

The Like, Dislike and Wish is a simple format to reflect on the positives and struggles from the last sprint, and to identify things that are missing for the team.

The Icebreaker

The icebreaker for this retrospective is the ESVP. How do people feel while participating in this retrospective?: 

  • “Explorer (E)”: Eager to dive in and research what did and didn’t work and how to improve.
  • “Shopper (S):” Positive attitude. Happy if one good things comes out.
  • “Vacationer (V):” Reluctant to actively take part but the retro beats the regular work.
  • “Prisoner (P):” Only attend because they (feel they) must.

The goal is to know how people will be participating in the retrospective session, so you can include this sentiment in the remaining of the retrospective. It also triggers the participants since they will know how much their colleagues will be participating, and it creates a certain urge to be actively engaged. You don’t have to go in too much detail in the actual results, since the goal is only to create visibility on how everybody will be participating in the retrospective.

The retrospective format

The Like, Dislike and Wish format contains 3 stages:

  1. “Like: “ what did you like during the last sprint?
  2. “Dislike: “ what didn’t you like during the last sprint, what bothered you?
  3. “Wish: “ what do you wish was available to the team? Or, what would you wish to change?

While having the discussion on a topic, always focus on what’s within the control of the team. Don’t focus too much on external people or factors, but mainly on the things that are within the control of the team to identify improvement actions that the team is able to take. You want to have 1 – 2 action items at the end of the retrospective that you can implement in the next iteration(s). Remember: you will not always have big live changing action items in each retrospective. That’s also not the intention. A small action that brings a small improvements is already very good. Try to improve a little each sprint instead of trying to bring big changes at once.

About last retrospective...

A crucial part of the retrospective is to reflect on the outcome of the previous one! Teams often forget to do this, but it is very important as it gives the team the confirmation that the action items are actually important… And that we want to make sure we improve! There is a section on the top of the template where you can refer to the action items of the last retrospective. Go over them, see how you are doing in regards to them, and decide what to do next.

Rate your retro!

At the very end of the retrospective, I ask the team to quickly rate their retrospective with focus on: 

  1. Did we have a good discussion? Did we speak openly, and respect each others opinion?
  2. Do we have valuable action items? And, are we confident that we will do them in the next sprint?

For this template, we use a feedback wall where team members can share their feedback on the retrospective. As the facilitator, you can encorporate this feedback into the next retrospective session.

Other things about the format

On the very top of the format, you can see 2 elements:

  • Action items / experiments: this is the place where you would write down the action items during the retrospective. This makes it easy to summarize them at the end of the session.
  • Idea for the next retrospective: I always like to foresee an area where people can give feedback or give input for the next retrospective. This can be feedback on the current format, ideas for a new format, tips, general feedback… Anything that can help us make the next retrospective even better! I would not make it required for people to give input in this, make them feel free to give input when they come up with something.

Download the template (for free)

You can download the Miro template for free below:

If you don’t have a premium version of Miro, you can also download the picture at the top of the screen and create the board in Google Drawings.


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