Having retrospectives on a regular basis is one way for your team to learn what they're doing right, where they can improve, how to avoid making the same mistakes again and again, and, most importantly, how to critically think about how they're working together. Well-designed retrospectives allow teams to iteratively improve their end product and collaboration process.

The concept of having retrospectives is well known in the technology industry, but it can be difficult for newer individuals, teams, and organizations to adopt the mindset required to execute effective for effective retrospectives. This guide will teach you how to build a culture of continuous improvement, the most important components to include in your retrospectives, and how to conduct effective retrospectives.

Who Is This For?#

This resource is for team members working in any industry who want to iteratively learn from their team's working processes and behaviors, and for leaders who want to cultivate a culture of continuous improvement within their organization.

What Is Covered?#

What is a retrospective?#

The who, what, when, and why of retrospectives. This section also includes a look at how retrospectives differ from postmortems.

Planning the retrospective#

A successful retrospective requires some degree of planning by the facilitator. This section outlines factors the facilitator should take into consideration at this stage.

During the Retrospective#

You'll learn how the facilitator and participants are involved at different phases of the retrospective.

After the Retrospective#

What to expect after the retrospective is complete.

Training for the Facilitator#

Information for retrospective facilitators and facilitators-in-training.

Additional Resources#

Links to other helpful retrospective facilitation tips and tools.


This documentation is provided under the Apache License 2.0. In plain English that means you can use and modify this documentation and use it both commercially and for private use. However, you must include any original copyright notices, and the original LICENSE file.

Whether you are a PagerDuty customer or not, we want you to have the ability to use this documentation internally at your own company. You can view the source code for all of this documentation on our GitHub account, feel free to fork the repository and use it as a base for your own internal documentation.