I was thinking of a different themed retrospective for one of the teams I’ve been working with recently. We’ve been together for roughly three months and majority of the retrospectives we’ve had have been following the what’s working, what’s not and what puzzles us pattern.
I remembered the Cricket World Cup themed retrospective I facilitated with another team earlier this year, and with the Ashes currently in full swing I thought we’d give another cricket themed session ago and make some changes to it.
First off we drew a cricket pitch the middle of the whiteboard, with a batsman at one end and a bowler at the other. You can do this as nice or as rough as you’d like.
Given the time constraints we had on this particular day I drew a pretty rough pitch as you can see in the picture below.
I then asked the team if they’d like to add anything to the drawing to add more context to the cricket theme. We had people draw a crowd and the batsman hitting a six, as well as a box off to the side to display the third umpire.
Once the finishing touches were made to the picture we decided that the sections on the board would be:
- What did we hit for six this iteration (what worked well)?
- What bowled us out this iteration (what didn’t work or isn’t working)?
- What do we need to go to the third umpire for (what is puzzling us or unknowns do we have)?
People then wrote their thoughts and reflections on post-it notes and placed them on the whiteboard. We then grouped the common thoughts into bubbles and begun discussing each one from the third umpire, to what bowled us out and finally what did we hit for six, taking actions were we needed to so that we could follow up before the next retrospective.
What did we learn?
Overall this theme worked quite well again and I thought the adjustments added from last time (crowd and the third umpire) made a big difference to the conversations we had in the session.
The retrospective itself was time boxed to one hour with five minutes at the start for drawing and context setting and five minutes for thoughts and reflections.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts mixing up your retrospective theme is a great way to tweak the conversations your team are having when they are reflecting together, and it’s a great way to get people involved early.
If you have any other themed retrospective suggestions it would be great if you could share them in the comments section of this post.