Check-in Activities for Online Retrospective

Check the status before retrospective

We want to start a retrospective but sometimes the chemistry is not there yet. 😅 If you use ‘Check-in’ or ‘Ice breaking’ activities, your retrospective will be much richer and dynamic with your team members.

What is Check-in?
Check-in is an activity to share what you have done with your team members, of which can be done at the beginning of retrospective to make a warm and cozy atmosphere.

Before you get into the retrospective!
Open your mind and get ready to tear down the walls among all the team members. 👍

For better retrospective!
It is important to know about how your team members are feeling at work. Are they comfortable? Are they happy now? But it is not easy to ask or to show your feeling to your colleagues because sometimes you might feel that you are not professional enough if you do that.

👉 Marimba team’s check-in examples

Before a regular retrospective, Check-in can be a good warm up activity for everyone in your team. We will introduce what we tried like followings.


This is a short activity to measure participants’ engagement for the meeting at hand.

  1. Let’s think about what kind of attitude I am today toward the retrospective as an Explorer, Shopper, Vacationer or Prisoner.
    • Explorers  – Are eager to discover new ideas and insights and want to learn everything they can about the iteration/release/ project.
    • Shoppers  – Will look over all the available information and be happy to go home with one useful new idea.
    • Vacationers  – Aren’t interested in the work of the retrospective, but are happy to be away from the daily grind.
    • Prisoners  – Feel they have been forced to attend and would rather be doing something else.
  2. Write the first letter of each status E/S/V/P on the sticky note and Paste sticky notes nearby on the pad.
  3. The facilitator put the sticky notes into each pad to create a histogram to show the data.
  4. Acknowledge the results and lead a discussion about what the results mean for the group.
Example Image of Retrospective Checkin Activity (ESVP) by Marimba

Draw your feelings

  1. Write your name on each pad.
  2. Express your feeling with a hand drawing.
    A car, animal and superhero anything is possible.
  3. With a simple drawing, if you explain your status, the retrospective will be much better.😉
Example Image of Retrospective Checkin Activity (Draw your feeling) by Marimba

Nikoniko radar

A Nikoniko Radar will help you to know where to focus on

  1. Choose focus area to gather happiness feedback.
  2. With stickers express 1) Happyness 2) Okay 3) Sad on the top of the row.
  3. Use a circle shape to express your feeling.
  4. Based on what your team chose, try to have more intensive retrospective.
Example Image of Retrospective Checkin Activity (Nikoniko Radar) by Marimba