Learning Matrix – retrospective

learning matrix
learning matrix

Today, I suggest we look at a classic retrospective that is known in companies: the learning matrix. This retrospective is similar to the KALM retrospective that you may know; however, it brings its very nice personal touch.

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

Our retrospectives

Required material for learning matrix

For this retrospective, you don’t need a lot of material. It will be necessary to have:

  • a whiteboard or flipchart
  • sticky notes
  • pens

The overall time to plan is 40 minutes.

All steps

The process of this retrospective is very simple. The facilitator will propose a grid like the one presented below to the participants. This offers 4 different themes:

  • happy: what the participants liked during this sprint
  • unhappy: what the participants did not like during this sprint
  • idea: what new idea we could experiment
  • flower: thank one or more of his colleagues

Here is how to represent this learning matrix in a simple way:

learning matrix
learning matrix

Step 1 of  learning matrix

The scrum master will then ask the participants in this retrospective to give their ideas around the 4 previously described themes. Each participant will write the post’its (1 idea per post’it) in order to say what was great and what was bad, but also to suggest the interesting ideas and to thank his colleagues. There is no obligation for participants to write 1 post for each theme; however, if they feel the need to write more than one post’it for the same theme, therefore they can.

Duration: 10 minutes

Step 2 of learning matrix

Then the scrum master will offer the participants (one after the other) of this learning matrix to read their post’it; if necessary, they can argue what they have written on their post’it. Then at the end of this reading, the participant will position his post’it on the learning matrix.

At the same time, the scrum master will take advantage to bring together the post’its that talk about similar ideas. This will improve the readability of the different ideas raised by the team.


Duration: 10 minutes

Step 3 of learning matrix

Then the scrum master will suggest that participants take 5 minutes to work on the “idea” part of the learning matrix. Indeed, sharing the feelings in the previous steps can lead participants to have new ideas for improvement. He will then ask the participants to explain them to others while placing them on the board in this “idea” part dedicated to areas for improvement.

Duration: 10 minutes

Step 4 of learning matrix

The participants will make a Dot Voting to define the 3 main axis of improvement on which the team will work during the next sprint. These are represented by the “idea” part at the bottom right of the learning matrix.

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

Duration: 10 minutes

Conclusion: learning matrix

To conclude this learning matrix is a retrospective which allows us to share about our own feelings; its particularity of bringing the concept of thanks is really important for team cohesion. This format thus mixes the search of the axis of improvement and the recognition of the work carried out.

Useful link: retrospective in french

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About Judicaël Paquet 190 Articles
Judicaël Paquet (agile coach and senior devops) My activities in France and Switzerland: - agile transformation architect - customized agile training - sensitization and manager coaching - agile maturity audits and situations - agile coaching (teams, orga, product owner, scrum master, agile coach) Specialties: scrum, kanban, management 3.0, scalability, lean startup, agile method.

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