I consider Retrospectives a key part of Scrum. Without it, the team would not be able to inspect and adapt it’s proces and work environment. As a consequence, I think putting (a lot of) effort into the preparation of your Retrospective is always worth it. I am always on the lookout for new ideas or new Retrospective formats I can try. If it gets the participants to laugh, it gets bonus points!
That’s why I was immediately inspired when I read Patrick Hellers blog on what he called the Wheel of Retro. It looked like fun and I decided to give it a try, but I decided against using glue and one of my kids’ fidget spinners (I would never get away with that), so I bought a big dice made of foam instead.
In my Retrospective, I ask my team members to roll the dice and answer a question:
If you throw 1: What I liked about last sprint was:
If you throw 2: What I did not like about last sprint was:
If you throw 3: I look really forward to…
If you throw 4: I don’t look forward to…
If you throw 5: Name something that really frustrates you
If you throw 6: Give someone a compliment
I like this set of questions (the result of some experimentation), as it combines looking back, looking forward as well as more ‘emotionally charged’ questions.
How to use
My Retrospectives typically consist of three parts:
1) Some kind of warming-up/energizer
2) Create and select possible actions to improve
3) Evaluate the Retrospective
I use this game either as part 1 or part 2. When I use it as part 1, I typically run it a two or three of rounds (optionally: an extra round where people can pick one question themselves they want to answer). The answer sometimes lead to insights what is going on in people’s heads (at least for me) and sometimes to some discussion.
If used for part 2, each team member will throw the dice a couple of times, but we dig deep into some of the answers to discover which actions we can take to improve.
Both ways work and the game element keeps the retro light and fun (my dice is covered in foam, making it bounce around a bit). Give the retro form a try and let me know what you think!
(For more inspiration on Retrospectives, have a look here).