Have you ever thought on how to quickly identify all problems related to a specific thing – project, iniciative, sprint? Or how to rank them and engage everyone, no matter whether you have group of 5 or 50 people? Sounds like a tough task, doesn’t it?

I faced the exact same challenge, and in order to deal with it I designed Satisfaction foot game that helps a lot.  Fast, easy to lead, engaging all participants no matter of the group size. The only condition is to have everyone on site. You can adjust it also to suit remote meetings, but it won’t be so effective.

Time: 10-30 minutes.

What you need?

  • a big room, which allows all participants to walk
  • a whiteboard on one side of the room
  • sticky notes (or any other small cards)
  • pens and markers

Preparation phase

  • Ask all participants to write on a sticky note their level of satisfaction from the project, initiative, sprint – whatever you want to analyze. Scale is from 0% to 100%. Level of satisfaction should take everything into account – results, motivation, atmosphere, people, tools, process used and so on.
  • Whiteboard on one side of the room equals to 120% of satisfaction (yes, 120%, not 100%); the opposite wall equals 0%. You can adjust starting point of the scale according to people satisfaction – just begin with the lowest level.
  • Ask people to stand on the scale according to their level of satisfaction.

Game phase

  • The last person (with the lowest level of satisfaction, closest to the wall without whiteboard) starts by answering the following question:

“What was your most important dissatisfaction factor? Pick one.”

  • Write the dissatisfaction factor on the whiteboard in front of all participants.
  • Ask the person who mentioned the factor:

“Imagine that this factor does not exist. What would be your new level of satisfaction (assuming that the dissatisfaction factor magically disappeared)?”

  • Ask the person to move to the new satisfaction level counting feet.
  • Ask all other participants whether mentioned dissatisfaction factor impacted them too. If yes, ask them to move to the new satisfaction level counting feet.
  • Count feet from all participants and write the number in line with factor name on the whiteboard.
  • Go back to first point of game phase, repeat until… whenever you want. In my mind the best approach is to end when everyone have reached at least 90% of satisfaction.


  • Allow people to go over 100% – just to keep everyone engaged during the whole game. That’s why we have 120% near whiteboard.
  • If two people are at the end, pick the one who haven’t got possibility to speak so far.
  • As a result, you should get a list of problems together with their weight – the more feet the topic scored, the more important it is and affects more people.

And that’s it. I wish you a happy game. Please share your experience with using it!

Originally posted at 4agile.pl.

6 thoughts on “Satisfaction foot”

  1. I tried this with my team today. It was mostly received positively by the team. There was a concern that the things that went well in the sprint were not discussed as there could be learnings from the positives as well. I added an additional part to discuss the positives and also discuss any actions. One of the ways to accommodate this in the exercise could be:

    Asking what was the factor to keep a team member 60 % satisfied (Things that went well) and what was the factor that didn’t push the satisfaction to 100% ( Things that didn’t go well)


  2. I played yesterday with my team. Everyone appreciated this approach and each team member taken part actively.
    Thanks for sharing

  3. I used this game in our last retro. It worked really good!

    I changed counting feet by counting percentage, so every % it was changed for reaching the new satisfaction level was counted to calculate the weight of the factor.

    It is also interesting not to count (or to separate it) the %/feet resultant of reaching more than 100%, so we don’t give more importance to factors that make people reach 120% than the ones that make people reach the 90%.

    Thanks for the post and I hope this details help in your future retros!


Comments are closed.