Smilies on the Board – Retro Closing Activity


In Agile Retrospecives by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen, retrospectives end with a closing activity.

Closing the retrospective provides moments for continuous improvement, for reflecting on what happened during the retrospective, and for expressing appreciation.

I’ve recently lead a few retrospectives with teams that are new to a five step retrospective. I wanted to keep the closing activity as quick and painless as possible. I found an activity on called Feedback Door – Smilies. I modfied this a bit for the retrospecitves I led.

Smileys on the Door

  1. Hand out stickies and sharpies to all of the participants.
  2. Draw a smiley face :), meh face 😐 and a frowny face 🙁 on a whiteboard or a stickes so everyone can see.
  3. Explaing that, “This last activity is to close and gather feedback on this retrospective. Take a moment to think about the retrospective as a whole and then draw a smiley that represents how you feel. How did you feel about the activities? How did you feel about the things we decided to do? When you are finished, you can stick your smiley on the door as you leave.”

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