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Mad Sad Glad Retrospective

Perform a review of the team's emotional and feeling comprehension through a retrospective analysis.

About the Mad Sad Glad Retrospective

What is Mad Sad Glad?

Team members can benefit from taking a moment to reflect on their emotions and assess their well-being after completing a Sprint. This exercise is essential for boosting morale and optimizing the results of each Sprint. However, it can be challenging to determine your team's feelings with vague inquiries such as "How are you feeling?" Therefore, numerous teams opt for the Mad Sad Glad retrospective method.

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The Mad Sad Glad technique is a general approach that helps analyze team members' emotions and encourages them to contemplate their feelings. This retrospective can highlight the positive sentiments that arise after completing a Sprint while also addressing any concerns or queries they may have about future endeavours.

When should you run a Mad Sad Glad retrospective?

In the circumstances with an opposing team dynamic or unspoken tension, this type of retrospective can be particularly beneficial. The team members can utilize a structured framework to communicate their emotions effectively, especially in an agile environment that emphasizes speedy outcomes. This technique can assist participants in openly discussing their sentiments and resolving any underlying issues.

How to use the Mad Sad Glad template

FigJam, a virtual collaboration platform, is an excellent choice for conducting a Mad Sad Glad retrospective with your team. You can effortlessly choose the template and invite your team to participate.

The facilitator should allocate 30-60 minutes for each member to reflect on their emotions towards the previous sprint. Then, they can take some time to ponder their sentiments and record them on the Mad Sad Glad template. Did any part of the sprint leave them angry, upset or satisfied? Once everyone has completed writing down their thoughts, gather the group to discuss. The facilitator can ask follow-up questions and document important points throughout the conversation.

4 tips for running a Mad Sad Glad retrospective

1. Allow sufficient space and time for reflection

Ensure the team has an uninterrupted 30 to 60 minutes to reflect on their emotions. Encourage participants to take extensive notes and secure a quiet room where they can concentrate.

2. Eliminate distractions

Request all attendees to switch off their phones to give undivided attention to the retrospective session. Distractions such as incoming calls or messages could hinder the reflection process.

3. Foster inclusivity

Assure everyone that there are no right or wrong answers during this exercise. Emphasize that the Mad Sad Glad retrospective aims assess each team member's feelings, not brainstorm strategies or processes.

4. Keep emotions at the forefront

Encourage your team members to focus solely on their emotions rather than action items or strategy discussions. Some team members may feel uncomfortable sharing their feelings and try to shift towards strategy instead; gently steer them back towards discussing emotions.

3 reasons to use a Mad Sad Glad retrospective

The Mad Sad Glad Retrospective has a distinctive approach that focuses explicitly on the team's emotional journey, providing unique benefits compared to a typical agile retrospective.

1. Foster trust

By allowing team members to discuss their emotions and feelings about their work in a safe space, you encourage honesty and transparency. This creates an environment of openness, positivity, and trust among team members.

2. Enhance morale

It is common for employees to experience difficulties or frustrations at work with no outlet available to address them. Allowing team members to express their concerns can make them feel more valued and included, ultimately leading to increased morale within the team.

3. Boost engagement

When team members feel unheard or frustrated, they may disengage from the work. However, a Mad Sad Glad retrospective allows these team members to voice their concerns and work towards resolving their issues. This enables them to contribute actively to building a more inclusive workspace where everyone feels heard and engaged.

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