In this article I’d like to speak about the 2 most popular Timbo templates for the remote retrospective. Try to guess what exactly I’m going to talk about?
Frankly speaking, firstly I was a bit surprised when I found out that these templates are the top-2 activities used by our users but then I started digging deeper to understand the reasons for their popularity and it finally became clear for me.

Looks like it’s time to reveal the secret, I’m talking about: “How do you feel?” and “Energy level” activities. Have you heard anything about them or even successfully used for your sprint retrospective?

Let me briefly explain the reasons why these activities are so popular and why you definitely need to try them if you haven’t had a chance yet.

“How do you feel?” retrospective template

How do you feel?

This technique is quite simple and is usually used as an ice breaker to start with.

I’m pretty sure that you have ever faced challenges while getting your team members to focus on the event and get involved in it as well as letting your team speak out. Especially while running a remote retrospective. I can say that it might be really complicated to start the discussion when everyone is somewhere far away from you and you can see them just via the monitor of your laptop.

A few words to clarify how you can deal with the issues above using this simple exercise. You need to ask the team to choose the emoticon that best describes the previous sprint/iteration/phase or retrospective and their feelings and emotions about it. Then you should check what emoticons gather the most and the least sticky notes and discuss briefly with the team. Focusing on the irrational part rather than on project related issues will allow all the team members to be on the same page with you so everyone can trust each other and speak sincerely.

Our users completely understand the importance of starting the effective discussion and that’s why this exercise is so popular.
As you know there’s a great idiom saying “A good beginning makes a good ending”.

“Energy Level” retrospective template

Energy Level

The “Energy Level” exercise is used mostly for the closure part of the retrospective.

You need to ask the team to estimate their energy level after the retrospective. Are they ready for the next iteration? Enthusiastic or having low morale?

Why do Timbo users think using this exercise is so important?
The answer is quite simple. This will allow you to track the team’s morale and their eagerness for the next iteration. If the energy levels are low… there is work to do. So you will need to think about how you can cheer up the team, perhaps, an out-of-work event. Otherwise it's highly likely your team will not perform well during the next iteration which can lead to more dramatic consequences like the failed sprint goals.

One more reason why the exercises above are so popular as they both can be used for the start of the retrospective and for the end one. You might use them to check the team's morale before and after the event, how your team members feel about the previous and coming iteration.

Start using these activities like our users do. Make your remote retro effective, energetic and surprising again.

Slava Bulko
Timbo Project Manager

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