The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

A classic retrospective with a fun theme based on the 1966 Western movie.

Best For

Identifying improvements

When to Use

After a sprint

What is The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly retrospective?

Based on Sergio Leone's 1966 Western starring Clint Eastwood, this retrospective template has the Good, The Bad, and The Ugly gunslingers fighting it out over the hidden treasure.

This is a great retro to run after a difficult sprint or event, as it helps the team both debrief and think about what they can improve for the next time. We've also added some suggested bonus exercises.

How to run this retrospective

First - set the scene by playing the iconic soundtrack:

Start by thinking about what happened in the sprint and add your points for The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly sections. You may also pre-populate the board with artefacts such as sprint burndown, customer feedback, team performance or happiness metrics.

  • The Good - what went well
  • The Bad - what went badly
  • The Ugly - what looks ugly but works, or what could have gone better.
  • The Treasure - this bonus section represents the team's goal(s), to help prioritize improvements.

Once that is done, go through the points in each section, using the topic and voting tool to find patterns and themes.

Prioritize the issues and then brainstorm improvements, actions, or experiments that will address them. Make sure the team assigns an owner and due date to each action!

Bonus exercise

The bonus exercise gets the team to reflect on both the sprint and the retrospective process, using the sticky notes in front of them:

In The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, the three gunslingers are fighting each other for a hidden stash of gold. Each sticky note in a gunslinger’s section is a bullet in their bandolier. At the end of the retrospective, the winning gunslinger is the one with the most bullets!

Count up the bullets, declare the winner, then take time to reflect on a few questions (you may think of your own):

  • How many bullets did that cowboy win by?
  • What could have swung the fight in another direction? (Ideally toward the Good gunslinger!)
  • What can you do or anticipate for next sprint that would give more bullets to The Good gunslinger?

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