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RetroSense is a GENBA-style SenseMaker application that offers an alternative approach to team retrospectives. Rather than gathering at the end of a sprint and attempting to recall and make sense of what happened, RetroSense invites teams to capture ideas, experiences and observations as they happen. This avoids the danger of retrospective coherence when looking back. With RetroSense, people are encouraged to continuously capture their ideas, experiences and observations during the sprint using SenseMaker®, instead of trying to recall what happened. During the retrospective, teams can then engage in the patterns of the data they have been sharing throughout the sprint, and engage in collective sense-making.


In Scrum, a retrospective (retro for short) concludes a sprint, and its chief purpose is to allow a team to discuss what worked well, what issues were faced, and how or if those issues were resolved. Ideas for improvement that emerge from a retro may even be added to the backlog for the next sprint.

There is no official format or guidelines to running a retro beyond a recommendation to timebox a maximum of three hours for a one-month sprint, and even shorter for shorter sprints. For example, discussion points may be captured on post-it notes and teams can brainstorm improvements based on them. Many companies have also produced templates for running retros.

Why SenseMaker

A retro takes place after the fact, and by definition is about lessons learnt rather than "lessons learning". A lot of valuable in-the-moment learnings can be lost in the daily bustle, and memory recall is imperfect and usually reconstructed. Capturing observations, reflections, ideas and even negative feedback in an anonymous manner allows team to inspect their own narratives in a chronological fashion, looking at clusters of patterns in behaviours and outcomes.

Using SenseMaker also saves time on the retro event itself, as narratives would have been already captured and the team can delve right into sense-making and brainstorming improvements.

RetroSense Signifiers

There are many retro facilitation methods and approaches, each with their own unique takes. RetroSense's signifiers are intentionally designed to be agnostic, so that they can be used for software development, product development, and almost any context that requires a retro.