My favourite exercise to start off a Sprint Retrospective is probably the Weather Report, which I found on Retromat, a brilliant site for inspiration when you’re looking for a bit of variation to your retrospectives.
The instructions for this exercise are really simple:
“Prepare a flipchart with a drawing of storm, rain, clouds and sunshine. Each participant marks their mood on the sheet.”
However, I’m fortunate enough to work for for a corporation with its very own weather symbols, so I manage to avoid relying on my limited drawing skills through borrowing the high-res symbols off the wiki:
To get the most out of this exercise, it’s a good idea two ask each team member to explain in a sentence or two why they chose the symbol they did. A cloud might mean different things to different people and in different situations. Maybe there is a cloud hanging over their head, maybe a cloud is much better than the thunderstorm they would have picked in the previous retrospective or maybe they’ve been doing lots of progress on the cloud based solution they been working on. Also, it might turn out there is an important topic to discuss you weren’t aware of, so the exercise you’ve lined up after the check-in is no longer the best choice.
Unfortunately, I’m unable to make a pdf of the symbols available for download, as they are not compatible with the Creative Commons licence I use for this blog but the clipart gallery in your word processor or Google Image Search might be able to help.
This is the last post I will repost from my old blog, where I first posted it on 23 July 2015.