This sprint retrospective activity is designed to help teams think of issues from the perspective of other members of the team whilst also highlighting problems and opportunities for improvements for the team.
- Post-it notes (Ideally Red and Green)
- Whiteboard/Write-on Wall (Optional)
- Everyone should be given two red Post-it notes and two green Post-it notes.
- On the green Post-it notes, each member of the team to writes down something that went well during the sprint using only one or two words to best describe their point.
- Similarly, on the red Post-it notes, everyone should write down two things that could/should be improved (again in two words maximum).
- Everyone should write his or her name in the corner or on the reverse of the note.
- Each member of the team should then pass both green notes to the person on their left and both red notes passed to the person on their right.
- Then, one of the green notes should be passed on to the left again and one red not passed on to the right again.
In larger teams, you might want to pass these notes further round so that there is more of a mix when it comes to the later steps.
- Going around the table in clockwise order from the left of the facilitator, each member of the team should present the first green card to the rest of the team. They should discuss the point from the perspective of the person who wrote it.
- Then, the person who wrote the note scores the presentation from 1-5 based (1 being “You’re not even close” to 5 being “It’s like you read my mind”) on how accurately they described the point they were originally trying to make.
- There should then be a brief discussion amongst the group to see how these thoughts are reflected across the team. As a facilitator, you should be encouraging a useful discussion with some exploration of the points whilst still keeping an eye on the time.
- The same process should then happen for the first red Post-it note for each member of the team.
- In larger teams it may help if you select people at random (perhaps based on the score of the last presentation?) rather than going around in order as people may be concentrating more on what they are going to say than on what is being discussed when it is close to being their turn.
- Ideally, you would go through all red and green Post-it notes but the chances are that
- 1) You will likely end up with a fair amount of discussion so there might not be enough time (especially if you want to do any of the other steps)
- 2) You will no doubt end up with some points that overlap so it may not be worthwhile discussing the second red and green Post-it notes.
- The score for each ‘Presentation’ should be recorded as you go around (on a whiteboard/write-on board if available) and you can compare the score if you ever repeat the activity again at a later date.
The purpose of this activity is to get everyone thinking about things from their team member’s perspectives. Even in teams where people work closely, it is common for people to not really know what their colleagues do, especially in multidisciplinary teams.
It helps to build on people’s empathy (as this can improve the team’s efficiency through reduced misunderstandings) and can help build the team spirit as people understand the implications of different actions/issues a little better. It can be interesting to see how people think (and how they feel) about certain things and the activity can also be quite funny if people write down an unusual word or something very vague.
You can capture points raised throughout the activity and use these to form next steps but you can also continue the activity’s theme of ‘different perspectives’ by getting people in the team to offer suggested solutions for each of the problems on the red Post-it notes they have in their hands. It might be that a fresh perspective was all that was needed to solve a problem that someone was struggling with.
You should keep things positive by also capturing all of the points on the green Post-it notes and sharing them under a heading of “A list of things that make us awesome!” or similar.