Sailboat Retrospective

The Sailboat Retrospective Template is a visual tool that can be used to conduct retrospective meetings in agile projects.

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Introduction a Slatebox

A Sailboat retrospective is a popular agile retrospective technique that helps teams identify what worked well and what needs improvement. This technique uses a sailboat as a metaphor to visualize the team's journey, with the wind representing factors that support the team, and the anchors representing the factors that hinder their progress. In this article, we'll take a deep dive into the Sailboat retrospective technique and how it can help you improve your team's performance.

What is a Sailboat Retrospective?

A Sailboat retrospective is a technique used by agile teams to reflect on their past performance and identify areas of improvement. This technique is based on the metaphor of a sailboat, where the wind represents factors that support the team's progress, and the anchors represent factors that hinder it. In a Sailboat retrospective, the team discusses the following:

What went well during the sprint? What didn't go well? What factors helped the team? What factors hindered the team's progress? By discussing these questions, the team can identify areas of improvement and take actions to address them in the next sprint.

How to Conduct a Sailboat Retrospective?

To conduct a Sailboat retrospective, follow these steps:

Draw a sailboat on a whiteboard or use an online tool like Slatebox. Draw the wind as a vector and the anchors as a symbol.

Ask each team member to write down their observations on sticky notes and stick them on the sailboat. Encourage them to be specific and provide examples.

Once everyone has shared their observations, group them into categories like "Sail", "Wind", and "Anchor".

Discuss the grouped observations and identify the ones that need improvement.

Brainstorm ideas to address the identified issues and assign action items to team members.

Review the action items in the next sprint retrospective.

Benefits of Sailboat Retrospective:

Helps teams identify areas of improvement. Encourages open and honest communication. Fosters a sense of teamwork and ownership. Increases the team's awareness of their progress.


A Sailboat retrospective is an effective technique that helps teams reflect on their past performance and identify areas of improvement. By using this technique, teams can work together to address issues and improve their performance in the next sprint. We hope this guide has been helpful in understanding the Sailboat retrospective technique and how to conduct it.

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