DAKI Retrospective - Drop, Add, Keep, Improve

Working in teams means that each individual will have their own ideas concerning the project at hand. The idea behind creating a team is to compile all of those ideas and get the very best out of them. However, conflicts do arise and the strength of the team is determined by how they overcome them.

Keeping a team on the same page requires communication. It means that the team has to govern itself and decide what’s good and what’s not. They are the ones who choose how they work and communication is the key to figuring that out. One of the best methods of doing so is DAKI retrospective.

What is a DAKI Retrospective?

DAKI retrospective is a technique that allows a team to assess the areas that it needs to work on while also adopting new methodologies in the way they function. DAKI is an abbreviation for: Drop, Add, Keep, and Improve. The 4 stages of DAKI are self-explanatory.

Drop - Drop points towards dropping something that bothers the team members.

Add - Add means adding newer things based on the team’s suggestions.

Keep - Keep refers to the aspects that the team members like.

Improve - Improve discusses the areas that they would like to see more work on.

DAKI retrospective thus creates a democratic environment where the team’s future is determined by the team itself. It’s a way of ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard and the decisions taken reflect the needs of each member of the team since opinions are considered from them all. DAKI is usually conducted after each sprint, with the team convening amongst themselves to drop, add, keep, and improve.

DAKI retrospective Examples


  • Too many stories to the sprint
  • Micromanaging


  • More unit tests on the backend
  • Backlog cleanup
  • User testing for the new release


  • Team outings
  • Nice team performance


  • Website performance
  • Team organization
DAKI example

How to facilitate a DAKI retrospective?

The original method of conducting a DAKI session takes around 30 minutes. 5 minutes are devoted towards allowing the team members to decide which things they want to drop, add, and keep. The improve section can be allotted 5-10 minutes since it will require the team members to go into greater detail about the aspects they wish to see improvements in.

All the team members require cards for this activity, with the cards being compared and merged later on after a review. These merged cards become item cards which become the idea that the team members can discuss and debate. After picking the most necessary changes from each category after discussion and voting, the changes are logged and implemented.

This traditional way of conducting DAKI is physical and will need constant updating from the team members. An online tool such as EasyRetro can be used for DAKI as well. EasyRetro holds DAKI through Retro sessions. Each Retro session starts off with a review of the previous Retro, reminding the team members what was decided in it. After this, a brainstorming session is conducted to allow team members to note down their thoughts on the current situation. Merging and voting follow, after which action items are drawn up and thoroughly discussed. If the discussion leads to any confirmed changes, these are logged and are made available for the next Retro in order to be reviewed.

DAKI Retrospective Template

You can create a free DAKI retrospective template right now. You will also be able to export it to JPEG, PDF and spreadsheet formats in the end of the exercise.