Fist of five

This post is part of 101 ideas for agile teams.


The team has problems to find consensus fast. Decisions take a lot of time.


Use fist of five voting to quickly vote on a decision and to see where everybody stands regarding the decision.

To vote, every team members thinks about how confident they are with the decision on a scale of one to five:

  1. I have major concerns.
  2. I would like to discuss some more issues.
  3. I’m not in total agreement but I feel comfortable enough to let this proposal pass without further discussion
  4. I think it is a good idea and will work for it.
  5. It’s a great idea and would like to take the lead when we implement it.

When a team member has his or her number in mind, he or she puts the fist in the air. When all the fists are in the air, the votes are revealed together on the count of three. Everybody with a vote below a 3 shares his or her concerns.

What you gain

Quick votes and transparency about the confidence of all team members.

Can unblock discussions and leads often to a (modified) decision that everybody can accept.

How to strengthen

Scrum Master calls for a vote using fist of five whenever the team gets stuck in a discussion around a decision.


Not everyone likes to share opinions. Make sure that everybody involved feels save to share his or her opinion.

More ideas at 101 ideas for agile teams

Many thanks to bbv Software Services for making this blog post possible.