Published 04/06/2020 at 08:43am

Superhero Themed Retrospective

There have been a couple of retrospectives that I've carried our recently. I thought I'd share one of them with you. Both of them are centred around valuing each team members contribution and recognising what each team member perceives their peers' biggest strengths to be.

Part 1

The superhero theme retro starts off with a bit of introspection. As facilitator ask your team to do the following

  • What do you think is your biggest strength, write it down
  • Come up with a name for your superhero and even come up with an icon, drawing or photo if you want. It may help to articulate your idea

If people are finding it hard to think of anything, these questions may help to interject when are where appropriate:

  • If you were only allowed one word to describe who you are, what would it be?
  • What are you best at?
  • What do people come to you for most?
  • Think about events in your life. Can you spot any themes? Are there any words you could use to describe you in those situations?

Allow about 15-20 minutes. Introspection can be hard. Don't share anything yet.

Part 2

The 2nd part is about asking people to draw on strengths of other team members. Depending on your team size it could take a long time for everybody to do this for everybody and you still need time to share everything. When I carried out the retro I asked people to come up with a strength for one other person ensuring everybody would have some feedback. I used Wheel of Names but use whatever strategy makes the most sense to you.

The task that I asked people to do was:

Come up with a strength about that person. Come up with a name for the superhero especially if it helps describe the strength.

Again, if people are finding it hard or if you feel the need to prompt these questions might help:

  • If you were only allowed one word to describe that person, what would it be?
  • What do you admire about this person?
  • What do you respect the most about this person?
  • What do you go that person for for most?

Allow about 15-20 minutes

Part 3

The 3rd part is all about sharing the information. This is a form of feedback, so if you need to do anything to make it a safe space for sharing them it's important to remember to do that here.

If people have written these down in a physical setting then pinning/sticking these to a board might be a nice touch. If in a virtual setting, then perhaps you have a slack channel or shared team space that you'd like to record them but the most important part is for people to read them out beforehand. How you go about organising the sharing is up to you. I asked the team how'd they like to share and they wanted to share both strengths but you might want to share the personal strengths first and then the strength about another person.

Allow about 30-45 minutes

Part 4

The 4th and final part is about drawing all of this together to work out what this means for you as a team.

Based on all the information shared in the 3rd part of this retro the goal here is to answer the questions.

  • What do you think our main team strengths are?
  • Are there any traits we are lacking?

Questions and resources that might help:

From what we’ve learnt from the individual strengths does that does inform us/guide us to what the team strength/strengths are?

You might find this link helpful. It talks about the 12 personality types and may help as a starting discussion point to talk about how your team is composed. You make look for traits that you are strong in but also try to look for traits that are lacking or as a team you could do with more of. Also, think about traits which people exhibit in certain situations and identify who plays that role.

Allow about 20-30 minutes


By the end of this retrospective each member should have a piece of feedback and hopefully feel valued. Your team should now be aware of their collective strength which should help as you face new opportunities and challenges.

Thanks for reading and I hope this helped.

© Louis Rickman 2021