This retrospective activity is used for following up on previous retrospectives action items. Lack of accountability for action items is a common complaint about retrospectives. It is a simple and direct way to follow up on previously identified items.

Running the activity

1.   Open the list of action items (and their respective owners)

2.   Update the status for each item on the list.

3.  Add newly identified items


These are the possible status for the items on the list:

–          Closed. Completed action items

–          Added. Newly added action items to the list

–          Still pending. Things previously identified, but not completed yet.

–          Dropped. Things that have been dropped. It clearly identifies an action item that has not being closed, and will never be. The possible reasons: (1) the owner has left the team and no one else picked it up, or (2) the owner states that he/she will not  work on it and no one else decides to pick it up


The sample table below shows a possible format for following up on action items.


action item created on owner due date status
the new retrospective activity
07/20 Paulo
na still
book photos
07/20 tc 07/27 closed
new photo for triangle activity
07/27 Paulo 08/14 dropped
chapter 2
07/20 tc na added


Each team will have a different tool for tracking their action items. Some examples: post-it on the team wall, a shared excel document, trello, and evernote.


Many teams have been following action items, or complaining by not following it. Having this as an activity and planned in the retrospective agenda acknowledge its importance. Although important, this should be used with cautious, because of its inerrant status reporting style.