The success of any team effort relies not only on technical skill and know-how but also on the morale and work satisfaction experienced by each team member while working on the project. This is why the Mad Sad Glad template is a valuable tool for evaluating a completed project. Instead of solely focusing on technical aspects, this retrospective delves into team members' emotional experiences, shedding light on improvement opportunities for future endeavors.

What is the Mad Sad Glad technique?

This differs from the other methods typically used to evaluate a finished project. In this technique, each team member is encouraged to recall their experiences while working on the project and share the events that made them mad, sad, and glad.

While the discussions in this retrospective are centered mostly on emotions, it is very important to maintain an objective view during evaluation, focusing on behaviors, processes, and events instead of directing blame or making other team members feel guilty.

Benefits of using  the Mad Sad Glad technique

This distinctive approach effectively draws feedback from team members and identifies areas for potential change or enhancement. It paves the way for a more productive future experience. Notably, this method fosters positivity and builds trust within the team, a critical factor for the success of upcoming endeavors. By focusing on emotional experiences, this retrospective uniquely shapes a path for improvement, empowering the team for future challenges.

When to use a Mad Sad Glad template?

There are several instances when using a Mad Sad Glad template would be ideal. The most common time would be immediately after the completion of a project while the experience is still fresh. By discussing the emotional journey that each member went through, the team can discover opportunities for further growth and improvement for the next project.

It is also recommended to use this retrospective when new individuals are brought into the team, perhaps because of a merger or a department reshuffle. This kind of change alters the team dynamics, creating new potential tension that must be immediately addressed.

How to run a Mad Sad Glad retrospective?

The best way to implement this technique is to use a template with a pre-made and very organized structure, just like the one we have here at Boardmix. This way, you can concentrate on the members' input without worrying about setting up the format for the evaluation.

Once you have opened the template, you will see it is divided into three sections: Mad, Sad, and Glad. Each participant can add feedback to these columns using colored sticky notes.

The Mad section pertains to those experiences or processes that frustrated the members because it diminished the performance quality or caused delays in the process. The Sad section would include those experiences that caused disappointment in members. Perhaps expectations were unmet, in which case there could be a discussion on how this can be prevented in future sprints.

Finally, the Glad section would highlight experiences that made the members happy. This could span a wide range of experiences, from working with a particularly helpful teammate to using new software that speeds up the work. Anything that brings satisfaction and good vibes can be included in this section.

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