The Story of Our Sprints

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Timing: 10 mins


  • People and space
  • 1 stop watch
  • Optionally, something to record the audio with.


Have the team sit/stand in a circle. You want to get a story of the last sprint that is told by the entire team. You start by saying ‘Once upon a time , we had a X (insert sprint length here!) week sprint…’. Then, the next person to your left adds to your sentence and this carries on until the last person has spoken or if the story is developing in an interesting direction, until all the points appear to have been made and there is nothing of value coming through. You might want to strictly enforce the time limit for a large team.

After the retrospective , you could run the game again to tell the story of the next sprint, and this should galvanise the improvements that will take place and nicely summarise the lessons learnt and help the team visualise how the next sprint could be better. This game helps to create an ongoing shared goal and represents an oral history of the software process.

Learning Points:

  • Discover a consensus view of the success/failures from the last sprint.
  • Empower everyone to add value to a collective goal through participation.
  • Exercise the ‘responding to change’ learning point from the word-at-a-time letter game.

CREDIT: Mike Sutton

Posted by Mike

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7 Responses to "The Story of Our Sprints"
  • Fabrice Aimetti May 31, 2012 at 9:20 am


    I have translated this game into french :

    By the way, I would like to know if it would be possible to have a french page linked to each game’s description ?


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  • Don McGreal May 31, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Hi Fabrice,
    We currently have volunteers translating the posts to Spanish, Portugese, and Russian (see the drop down on the right). We do not yet have anyone doing them in french, but would love to set you up with an account if you would be willing.


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  • Fabrice Aimetti May 31, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Hi Don,

    Yes, it would be great il I have an account for french translations! Please ^^)


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  • Peter Lee February 21, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    Just tried this with my scrum team and had an awesome outcome. Was a really safe session and got everyone involved in making a shared view on what the sprint was.

    I will add that I typed the story as they spoke and read back the final story to the team.

    I did the same for the story of the next sprint.

    Thanks to Mike Sutton for this great exercise.

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  • David Grant March 13, 2013 at 1:31 am

    I used this for gathering data in our sprint retrospective yesterday. I was expecting some cynicism, but some members of the team really got into the format. I’d use this game again.

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  • Lee Fox October 24, 2013 at 7:50 am

    I think I’m going to try this at my next retro. It sounds fun.

    I think I’m going to play the theme music from Days of Our Lives while I describe the activity to the team.

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  • Erik Ronneberg June 4, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Just used this for a new team just getting used to looking inward. Worked well once the initial couple of sentences were spoken. The best part was verbally re-writing the story as a ‘should have been’ and capturing ‘to-dos’ from it!

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