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Creating a Homemade Retrospective Game

Zone Leader John Vester talks about a restrospective you can create at home that plays a lot like a famous board game...

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There are quite a few options on how to facilitate your Sprint Retrospective meeting, some can be found at the TastyCupcakes.org web-site.  Recently, a colleague of mine (Curtis Penner) decided to create his own Retrospective board game.

About the Game

Curtis was able to find an empty game board and chance cards from Amazon.  Once his order arrived, he fashioned the board in a design similar to the Parker Brothers game Monopoly.  There are squares around the edge of the board, where players will navigate their pieces guided by a roll of the dice.  When they land on their spot, they follow the instructions on the space.

In the center of the board are four dedicated sections:

  1. A placeholder for Post-it notes focused on high points of the sprint

  2. A placeholder for Post-it notes focused on challenges from the sprint

  3. A placeholder for Post-it notes focused on expected future challenges

  4. A section to house a deck of cards

The deck of cards are considered "chance" cards and contain an equal mix of good and bad things.  Some of his examples are listed below:

  • You broke the main branch, lose a turn

  • Your team had an awesome velocity, read two Post-It notes

A picture of Curtis' game is listed below:

Image title

How the Game Works

Players use Post-It notes to note their high points, challenges and future items.  Once they are finished, they are placed onto the appropriate placeholder in the center of the board.  Each player then has a token that is placed on the start.

The player rolls a die to move around the board.  When they land on a spot, they follow the instructions provided.  Each time the player passes start, they automatically get to pick-up a Post-It note from the pile of their choice. 

The goal is to focus on the Post-It note and reflect on the item, noting take-aways where appropriate.

The winner is the player with the most Post-It notes after the last Post-It note is picked up.

Conclusion

I was able to borrow Curtis' game during our last Retrospective and we had a lot of fun playing.  Our game did end up in a two way tie for first place.  There wasn't anything in the instructions about what to do in the event of a tie, so we just did the normal thing ... had the two fight it out in the middle of the room.  (Just kidding.)

Have a really great day!

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Topics:
agile retrospective ,agile ,retrospectives

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