Sailboat Retrospective

gather insight about the state of the team, project or company

Sailboat Retrospective

What is a Sailboat Retrospective?

The Sailboat Retrospective is a reflection method where a team reflects on what helps them move forward (Wind) and what holds them back (Anchor). It helps the group to feel united in the same boat and reflect on the current state of a project in a visual and constructive way.


How does a Sailboat Retrospective work?

Step 1: What moves us forward?

Bring the group's attention to the area above the water where the wind moves the boat forward. Ask "What is already working well in this project?". After the time runs out, each participant reads out their post its without explaining them in length.

Step 2: What holds us back?

Turn your attention below the sailboat. The anchor represents everything that is slowing down the group on their journey. Ask "What problems and obstacles are holding us back?"


  • Encourage the group to create multiple post its
  • Look for duplicates on the area below the sailboat
  • Follow-up with Dot-Voting on the most important problems

What is a good example for a Sailboat Retrospective?

A good example for the Sailboat Retrospective is to do the method as part of a project check-in meeting. The two areas allow the team to reflect on their practices and activities in the past quarter and to get a good overview of what the team collectively values and would like to change.

Below, you see an example of what a Sailboat could look like at the end. As you can see, this provides a transparent overview of the current state of the project and what matters for the team.


Who invented a Sailboat Retrospective?


Sailboat Retrospective Template Download

Sailboat Retrospective Miro Template

  1. Click the button below, to open the Sailboat Retrospective 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

Sailboat Retrospective Mural Template

  1. Click the button below, to open the Sailboat Retrospective 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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Screenshot explaining how to duplicate a Mural template

Sailboat Retrospective PDF Template

To download the Sailboat Retrospective PDF Template, simply click the button below.

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Questions & Answers

How can I edit the Sailboat Retrospective template?
Duplicate either the Miro or Mural Sailboat Retrospective 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 Sailboat Retrospective 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 Sailboat Retrospective template?
Yes, you can print the Sailboat Retrospective 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 Sailboat Retrospective 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 Sailboat Retrospective template website.