Today was the end of our sprint and rather than running our usual retrospective we decided to mix things up a bit and play a game. We’ve had a number of new starters in our team recently so I thought it was a good time to play the peer introduction game.
The peer introduction game is a way for people in a team for get to know each other more than just by a job title.
How does it work?
- Start by splitting the group into pairs, and ask people to ideally pair up with someone they’re not familiar with or someone they don’t sit next to regularly. If you have an odd number of people then I suggest that the facilitator sits out.
- Ask the pairs to have a quick conversation to find out more about each other. To help give them a few examples of things they can find out such as the person’s name, where they live, where they were born, what their favourite food is, where they have travelled or would like to travel.
- Time box the conversation to 5-7 minutes.
- Before the pairs launch into their conversations, explain that at the end of the time box that they’ll need to introduce their peer to the group.
What did we learn?
- Retrospectives are all about continuous improvement and most of the time we focus on the things we can improve from a process, system or technical point of view. Rarely do we reflect on the most important thing which is the relationships we have with the people that we work with. We spend majority of our time with these people, so it’s always good to improve what we know about them beyond their job title or the role they play in a team.
- The peer introduction game has the potential to create a real buzz in the team as people discover and learn things about people that they never knew, which can spark further conversations post the session.
- The peer introduction game is really good active listening practice.
- This game also get’s everyone in the group to talk and share something. Quite often we can go to retrospectives where people just attend, this game requires everyone to be present and involved.
Finally the peer introduction game isn’t just for retrospectives, it could be used to kick start a workshop or an event where people are going to spend time working with each other.
Overall the peer induction game took around 40 minutes to complete for 20 people.