Glad, Sad, Mad – retrospective

glad, sad, mad - retrospective
glad, sad, mad - retrospective

Let’s see a great classic of retrospectives in scrum which are known all over the world: glad, sad, mad. if this retrospective is relatively simple, it is nonetheless very effective.

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

Our retrospectives

Required material for glad, sad, mad

For this retrospective, you don’t need a lot of material:

  • square post’it
  • pens
  • small board (paper board or white board)

The overall time to plan is 30 minutes.

All steps

Very classic in the world of retrospective, this workshop allows you to find axis of improvement for the next sprint.

The Scrum Master will draw on the board or on the craft paper on the wall, 3 separate columns. At the top of each column, we can put a post’it that presents from left to right: a happy smiley, a sad smiley and an mad smiley.

Here is the type of rendering we want to achieve:


glad sad mad board
glad sad mad board

Step 1 of glad, sad, mad

The Scrum Master will give participants 5 minutes to fill in the post’it (in another color for readability) to explain what made them happy, sad or mad during the sprint. A post’it should contain only one idea; if a participant have some ideas, he will use some post’it. There is no limit of using of post’it.

Duration: 5 minutes

Step 2 of glad, sad, mad

During this second step, the Scrum Master will take 10 minutes to read what all the members have put on the board; if the writing on the post’it is not clear, whoever wrote it can share his idea briefly.

The Scrum Master will also take the opportunity at this time to bring together the post’its that have similar ideas in order to improve the readability of the different ideas raised by the team.


Duration: 10 minutes

Step 3 of glad, sad, mad

Then the Scrum Master will suggest that participants take 5 minutes to note axis of improvement on the post’it knowing that they will only be able to put one idea per post’it.


Thus, all participants will have 5 minutes to briefly explain them.

Duration: 10 minutes

Step 4 of glad, sad, mad

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: glad, sad, mad

This very popular retrospective has the advantage of being easy to understand, easy to animate and to go to the essential. If your teams don’t like the retrospectives too exotic, this workshop will be perfect for them.

Useful link: retrospective in french

(Visited 1,133 times, 1 visits today)
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.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.