Retrospective # 7: The lotus flower

lotus flower retrospective
lotus flower retrospective

The retrospective of the lotus flower is a less popular retrospective but is quite interesting to realize. It will aim to focus on a specific problem identified in advance by the Scrum Master (or the team).

For information, the lotus flower is an aquatic plant of the family of Nelumbonaceae. And in our case, it is also the representation of a pretty flower with a central part and several petals. The central part will represent a problem and the petals the reasons for this problem. No worries, we’ll see that in the article.

Feel free to read our other retrospectives on this dedicated page:

Our retrospectives

Required material for Jeopardy

For the lotus flower, you will need to prepare the following material:

  • post-it
  • a white board or large sheets post’it (paper board)
  • erasable markers

The overall time to plan is 1 hour.


The Scrum Master will have very little preparation for this ceremony; he will just have to make sure that the material is present. He’ll just draw a drawing like this on the whiteboard

la fleur de lotus
the lotus flower

All steps

Here are the different steps to take to complete this new retrospective.

Step 1: the Scrum Master will write the problem on the central box on which the whole workshop will focus. He will make sure that all participants understand the problem and ask them if they have any questions.

Duration: 5 minutes

Step 2:

On the second phase, the participants will try to cut this problem into 8 different parts. The Scrum Master will let the participants think a few minutes about the definition of these. Then he will ask them to agree and write these 8 parts defined by them.

lotus flower - retrospective
lotus flower – retrospective
Duration: 15 minutes

Step 3:

The scrum master will ask participants to vote for the most important sub-issues with a system such as dot voting.

Duration: 5 minutes

Step 4:

The participants will split into 2 groups (if the group allows it) to redo a lotus flower on the two sub-issues that had the most votes; the first group will deal with the first sub-problem and the second group with the second sub-problem.

The lotus flower of this fourth step will be slightly different from the first because they will purpose the sub-problem in the central part and the solutions on the 8 petals.

Duration: 20 minutes

Step 5:

both groups will provide the solutions proposed to solve these sub-problems.

The scrum master will not forget to ask participants to choose a volunteer to be responsible for monitoring the implementation of solutions for both sub-problems. It is important to remember that it is essential to empower people to ensure that the axis for improvement will not be forgotten at the end of the retrospective.

Duration: 15 minutes

Conclusion : lotus flower

Very different, this lotus flower retrospective offers a format that requires focusing on a specific problem and to treat it. It allows to change format and to purpose other types of retrospectives to the teams.

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About Judicaël Paquet 368 Articles
Judicaël Paquet (agile coach and senior devops) My Engagements in France and Switzerland: - Crafting Agile Transformation Strategies - Tailored Agile Training Programs - Raising Awareness and Coaching for Managers - Assessing Agile Maturity and Situational Analysis - Agile Coaching for Teams, Organizations, Product Owners, Scrum Masters, and Agile Coaches Areas of Expertise: Scrum, Kanban, Management 3.0, Scalability, Lean Startup, Agile Methodology.

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