People often make their favorite recipes around this time of year. In my family, we always make a special loaf of bread flavored with just a pinch of cardamom. The recipe is written on a tattered card that lives in my mom’s recipe box. Each year, we grab the card and make lots of loaves to share with friends and family. 

At LUMA, we have a different kind of recipe box: it’s called LUMA Workplace and it houses all of our design thinking “recipes.” In the same way that kitchen recipes help you become a better baker, our recipes help you become a better designer. You can read more about our take on recipes in this blog post.

And while the end of the year is great for cooking, baking, and celebrations of all types, it’s also a perfect time to look back at all that happened in 2021. It’s a fitting time to reflect on projects that are coming to a close, so I want to share one of my favorite LUMA recipes with you today: it’s called “Conduct a short project retrospective.”

This recipe is a simple combination of two fan-favorite methods: Rose, Thorn, Bud and Affinity Clustering. Together, they create a powerful recipe that can be completed in one hour with up to eight people. And it can be done in person or online using pre-designed templates that we made for MURAL and Miro.


  • Log in to LUMA Workplace and navigate to this page
  • Check out the facilitation guide to see tips for facilitating this recipe.
  • Download the resources you need, like pre-designed templates.
  • Follow the detailed steps, starting with Rose, Thorn, Bud for 15 mins.
  • When you are ready, move on to Affinity Clustering for 45 mins. 
  • Repeat as necessary! 

If you don’t have a LUMA Workplace account yet, sign up for a free trial. Additionally, information about all of our methods — including Rose, Thorn, Bud and Affinity Clustering — is freely available by visiting the Methods page on this website. If you want to learn how to use these methods like a pro, consider signing up for the LUMA Practitioner Certification Program

The same thing is true of design that’s true of baking: you get better with practice. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good. The important thing is to start – and I can’t think of a better place to start than by trying this recipe! So here’s my challenge to you: find one hour between now and the end of year to try these two methods. I hope it turns out well!