Retrospective: Garden

In this post we want to give you a glimpse of how we approach retrospectives at Kunlabora. A retrospective is an essential opportunity to learn and improve both ourselves and our team.

We try to set our daily routines aside and take the time to reflect on past events and behaviours. Our teams do this every two weeks at the end of every sprint, because we believe that being able to improve ourselves during a project is vital to the project’s success. In addition, doing retrospectives often avoids the problem of feedback that comes too late to change our way of working.

The Garden idea / concept

A fun retrospective that we have done recently with the whole company is The Garden Retrospective. At Kunlabora we want to grow as a team, as a company and individually, so a garden is a great metaphor. Like any other retro, we aim to answer three questions:

  • What worked well?
  • What didn’t work well?
  • What can we do differently?

Draw the garden and explain it to the participants

Empty Tree

The roots of the tree

The roots of the tree represent the foundations of our team. This region contains ideas, values, and actions that have shaped our team, or that we have invested a lot of time in. An underground river flows underneath the roots, which may indicate more deeply-rooted elements. For example, we invest a lot of time in knowledge sharing.

The crown of the tree

The crown of the tree represents the results of our work; elements of which we are proud, but could not have come to be without our fundamental roots. For example, thanks to our focus on knowledge sharing, we learn a lot, we are close as a group and we are open to help others.

The garden house with supplies

At the garden house we gather all items that can help us grow the tree faster or more efficiently. This can be a specific action, for example having a knowledge sharing moment every Friday during lunch.

The gardener

We have called our gardener Jardin, not because we like to speak french, but because our founders are called Jan and Nordin. :-)
As you can see on the drawing the gardener has three watering cans, which represent three SMART actions that the team wants to commit to.

Gathering data

Ask the participants to share their ideas on a post-it and place them on the drawing in the following sequence:

  • First the participants get time to write ideas for the roots.
  • Put the post-it’s on the drawing and explain what they mean.
  • Write the post-it’s for the crown of the tree.
  • Put the post-it’s on the drawing and explain what they mean.
  • Write the post-it’s for the garden house.
  • Put the post-it’s on the drawing and explain what they mean.
  • Together discuss and search / select the three actions the team wants to commit to.


The result of our retrospective looked like this.

Filled Tree


Let us know what you think about this retrospective concept. If you tried it out, tell us how it went. If you’ve got other helpful tips/hints or great retrospective concepts, share it with the world.

You can tweet, facebook, linkedin, instagram or just mail us.

Diestsevest 32/0c
3000, Leuven
+32 16 24 08 48
Connect with us