May The 4th (Force) Be With You Retrospective

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Timing: 1 – 1.5 hours for entire retrospective
White board or canvas of some kind, laptop or some means of showing video clips, post it notes, pens, pieces of paper with handwritten or typed questions, bag or container to pull questions from.
Instructions: see individual pieces for instructions
How to run the game: see individual pieces for how to run
Learning Points: see individual pieces of the retro
Discussion and facilitation guidance: see individual pieces of the retro/

1. Set the goal/ context
Time: About 1 minute
Materials: White board or canvas of any kind
Instructions: Write the goal out for the team to see. NOTE you can change the goal/ focus to anything you want as well.

“The goal of this retrospective is to look at the values of the team; openness, respect, commitment, focus, and courage, to identify and gather feedback from Sprint __, and to create action items to improve challenges as well as continue to maximize what is working for the team.”

2. Focus ON: Agile, Scrum, Team
Time: 5-10 minutes
Materials: White board or canvas of any kind
Instructions: Write only the quotes (see below) out for the team to see. Then ask the team, “Who said each of these and how do these quotes relate to Scrum, this team, or Agile in general?”
Learning Point/s: Help the team to think about how many things around them in day to day life, movies, etc relate to Agile, Scrum, and being part of a team. Ideally, this will also help them to feel better connected to the underlying principles of Agile so that they can become more Agile in their mindset.

“This is a new day, a new beginning” – Ahsoka Tano. Agile and Scrum are centered on change and new beginnings, trying new things to improve and grow.

“Your focus determines you reality” – Qui-Gon Jinn. It relates to Scrum b/c it is highlighting how Scrum is about focus and how if you focus on succeeding you will and conversely if you focus on failing you will.

“Great kid, Don’t get cocky.” – Han Solo. Scrum is about being creative and courageous but remaining humble with estimation, team work, and iterations that produce in smaller amounts so that the business side is able to weigh in on if they really want what they think they want.

“Your eyes can device you. Don’t trust them – Obi-Wan Kenobi. Agile and Scrum if done well are a great blend of analytical quantifiable information mixed with gut feeling, hunches, and instinct.

“Do. Or do not. There is no try” – Yoda. Scrum is about doing – granted we try different things to see what works but in attitude we DO – and then make adjustments and DO again.

3. Check In – Scene Sharing (homework required)
Time: 5-10 minutes
Materials: Laptop or smart phones that can play video or no materials if describing scenes
Instructions: Ask the team to prepare in advance for this. Email or ask them to “Prior to the retro please think of a scene from Star Wars (or any other movie) that represents one or more of the 5 team values; respect, openness, courage, commitment, and focus. You can either describe the scene to the team or share a clip of the scene on video through a phone or laptop. Try to keep scene to under 2 minutes.” Then watch the clips as a group and guess what the team value/s is that each clip is supposed to represent. If unsure, ask.
Learning Point/s: Help the team connect with each of the values by thinking of scenes from favorite movies where they are exhibited.

4. Energizer – Human Rock Paper Scissors STAR WARS STYLE
Time: 5 minutes
Materials: A diagram on the white board or canvas showing light saber beats blaster, force choke beats light saber, and blaster beats force choke.
Instructions: Divide the team into two teams by starting at one end and having the first person say 1, the next person says, 2, the next says 1, and so on. Then have all of the 1’s stand on one side and all of the 2’s stand on the other to make 2 teams. Then instruct the two teams they will have 2 minutes to come up with their own hand signs for light saber, force choke, and blaster and that they need to create a strategy for winning best out of three Human Light Saber, Force Choke, Blaster. Then say something like, “OK we are going to do three rounds back to back. Best out of 3 wins. I’ll say 1, 2, 3 and on 3 each team should do their first strategy. Immediately, I’ll do it two more times. Remember, light saber beats blaster, force choke beats light saber, and blaster beats force choke. Whoever wins the most out of 3 wins.
Learning Point/s: They worked on teamwork, strategic thinking, and being creative, all while having fun and getting up out of their seat ;)

5. Gather Insights, Analyze, and Create Action Items – Star Wars Style
Time: 30-45 minutes
Materials: A diagram on the white board or canvas showing 4 quadrants with 4 pictures in each plus a picture at the top left and right.
1. Divide the canvas into four parts, drawings are encouraged, (they don’t have to be pretty, but they encourage the team to participate). The right side is the Jedi – Good side of the force, the left side is Sith – Evil side of the force. Add the following, one into each quadrant;
Alderaan – things that are good, keep us moving forward, increase the forward momentum of the force of the project and team as a whole.
Death Star – things that are killing the team or progress, slowing us down, not helpful or good. We should stop doing them.
Tatooine – dry lifeless, not fruitful, we should do less, do better or change them.
Forest Moon of Endor – helpful, productive things we should do more of but still need refinement.
2. Explain each of the quadrants with the team and ask if they have any questions?
3. Remind the team to put one idea per post it note.
4. Either have everyone hold feedback until you say to put it up on the board or have people add their feedback when ready.
5. Read each post-it note out loud, combine any duplicate comments, and ask if anyone wants to elaborate on what they shared.
6. Ask the team to come up with SMART Action Item/s for the most popular issue/s.
Learning Point/s: the team gets to think about the past sprint in a productive and creative way and provide feedback about it.

6. Close-Out – “Would you rather?” Star Wars style
Time: 5 minutes
Materials: Strips of paper with questions below printed or handwritten on them, and a bag or container for the team to reach in and select one.
Instructions: Create your own or use any of these below. Print and cut them into strips. Place them into a bag or container of some kind and have the team pass it around. Start with the first person, they select one, open and answer, then pass the container to the person next to them.
Learning Point/s: fun way to close out the meeting, everyone can learn a bit about their team mates.
- Would you rather be Jedi or Sith?
- Would you rather be Obi Wan Kenobi or Yoda?
- Would you rather talk like Yoda or breathe like Darth Vader?
- Would you rather fight with a light saber or a blaster?
- Would you rather live with the Ewoks or Jar Jar Binks people the Gungans?
- Would you rather live on Tatooine or Hoth?
- Would you rather ride a Tauntaun or a Bantha?
- Would you rather have Han Solo or Rey as your pilot?
- Who would you rather have as a side kick, Chewbacca, Maz, or BB-8?
- Meet Jabba the Hutt or Darth Sidious?
- Would you rather be Anakin or Luke Skywalker?
- Would you rather be C3PO, R2-D2, or BB-8?

Normally we have snacks during Planning Meeting, but we mixed it up for this one and everyone brought in a StarWars themed snack. I have compiled a great list on Pinterest – you can check out with out an account here, The Star Wars font can be downloaded for free and signs can quickly be made. Everyone really enjoys it!
Please email if you have any questions and if you try this – I’d love to see pictures and get feedback on tweaks you make to improve etc.

Food wide shot.jpg (79 KB)

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8 Responses to "May The 4th (Force) Be With You Retrospective"
  • Andre %A %e %B %Y at %H:%M

    Typo on “Your eyes can device you. Don’t trust them”
    Should be ‘deceive’

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  • Gretchen Knode %A %e %B %Y at %H:%M

    Thanks Andre – it has been fixed!

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  • Jane Marie Rief %A %e %B %Y at %H:%M

    I used these exercises with a team yesterday. The Retrospective worked well and helped in identifying what we wanted to do next for process improvement. The Death Star analogy went a bit awry as the team understood that carry over was a practice that is very negative. Their solution was to suggest that they close the in process stories and then create new stories to represent the remaining work. I explained that partial credit is not what we are after. We really want completed work and it doesn’t count until it is done. The other team building activities were fun. The only one we didn’t try was the Homework video clips. Interesting that we had 4 people out of 12 who had never seen Star Wars. Like not any of the movies. I was very surprised.

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  • Gretchen Knode %A %e %B %Y at %H:%M

    Glad it worked well for your team. Thanks for sharing how it went and what came of the retro! Special thanks for trying it :)

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  • Mo %A %e %B %Y at %H:%M

    Ive used this for different teams a few times now and it always delivers the team “feel good” factor when done. So thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • davide %A %e %B %Y at %H:%M

    do you have a photo of the quadrants? I’m not so sure how you’ve used them :)

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  • Gretchen Knode %A %e %B %Y at %H:%M

    Mo – you are so very welcome! Glad it has worked well for you!

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  • Gretchen Knode %A %e %B %Y at %H:%M

    David – I couldn’t figure out how to add more pictures so you can go to my website and see the quadrants plus I have a LOTR retro and more.

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