Rose, Thorn, Bud

assess the health and areas of opportunities of a project or team

Rose, Thorn, Bud

What is Rose, Thorn, Bud?

Rose, Thorn & Bud is a reflection method to identify situations, events or outcomes as positive (rose), negative (thorn), or having potential (bud).

This helps to reflect and analyze projects, problems or strategies and leads to better decision-making for the next steps and areas to focus on.


How does Rose, Thorn, Bud work?

The board is divided into three categories. Participants are then instructured to reflect on each category and write down their thoughts on sticky notes.

Rose is the category where positive points will be listed. These can be successes, highlights, or even the most minor wins.

Thorn is where negative points will be listed. These can be areas of difficulty where someone needs more support or obstacles that will impede the end result.

Bud is where you would list areas of potential. This can be a new idea or something to explore further.

If this is a new activity for the group, some participants may struggle to come up with points. Here are some questions you can ask to get people thinking about what is a rose, thorn, or bud:


  • What have you done this week that you feel proud of?
  • What have you been doing that’s been working well for you?
  • What has been the highlight of the project so far?


  • What has caused you stress during this process?
  • What aspects of the project do you feel are not working?
  • What is the most difficult part of the project?


  • What can improve this project?
  • What do you look forward to in this process?
  • What ideas can we expand further?

What is a good example for Rose, Thorn, Bud?

A good example for Rose, Thorn, Bud is to do the method to assess a project at the beginning of a reflection or ideation workshop. That way, you can collect insights about people's perspectives and find out what participants are missing and where they see areas of opportunity.

Below, you can see an example of how a Rose, Thorn, Bud method could look at the end.


Who invented Rose, Thorn, Bud?

The first group to utilize the concept of Rose, Thorn, Bud appears to be the Boy Scouts of America, as a way to think about whatever situation they encounter. As the organization promotes looking at this methodically, this makes a lot of sense.

Over time the technique has developed. As RTB is a versatile technique, the method will change slightly from situation to situation. However, the core principles remain the same.


Rose, Thorn, Bud Template Download

Rose, Thorn, Bud Miro Template

  1. Click the button below, to open the Rose, Thorn, Bud Miro Template
  2. In Miro click on the name of the board in the upper-left corner, to see the board info card
  3. Click on the Duplicate button in the info card to add the template into your own account.
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Screenshot explaining how to duplicate a Miro template

Rose, Thorn, Bud Mural Template

  1. Click the button below, to open the Rose, Thorn, Bud Mural Template
  2. In the new tab click on Create mural from template to create a new Mural board with the template in your account

Tip: You can also click "Save for later" to save the template into your account and use it in the future.

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Rose, Thorn, Bud PDF Template

To download the Rose, Thorn, Bud PDF Template, simply click the button below.

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Questions & Answers

How can I edit the Rose, Thorn, Bud template?
Duplicate either the Miro or Mural Rose, Thorn, Bud template. All you need for that is a free account on one of the platforms. From there you can fully edit and adapt the template content and colors to your own needs.
Can I share the Rose, Thorn, Bud template with others?
Yes, absolutly! Feel free to share this template with your team, colleagues or organisation. The best way to do this, is to send them a direct link to the template.
Is it possible to print the Rose, Thorn, Bud template?
Yes, you can print the Rose, Thorn, Bud template. To do so, simply download the PDF version of this template. The PDF version is in A4 format, vector-based and can be printed in high-quality on large size. The best paper size for printing is A1, because it's still portable but gives you enough space to work on.
Do I need a payed Miro or MURAL account to use the Rose, Thorn, Bud template?
No, a payed Miro or Mural account won't be necessary to use this template, because you can always use the free plan for both tools. Or if you exceed the limits of the free plan, you can always download this template as a PDF.
What is the license for this template?
This template is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0. In short that means, you are free to download, copy and share the template. But while doing so, you must give appropriate credit and provide a link to the Rose, Thorn, Bud template website.