World Retrospective Day 2020

Humble Associates
3 min readMar 27, 2020

Did you know that March 26th is World Retrospective Day? Us neither, until our buddy Chris Caswell asked us if we wanted to team up to run an event for the Adventures With Agile community.

We were asked to create and facilitate a couple of short 20 minute interactive sessions centred around the theme of… Retrospectives (shock!).

Noel created a matching game with the intention to:

  1. Remind the group of the wide range of exercises you can run during a Retrospective
  2. Encourage everyone to consider where your team is in the Tuckman model before choosing the right Retrospective

The challenge was to match 19 retrospective ideas to the first 4 stages of the model in a 10 minute time box.

The 3 groups who took part (25 people in total), generated the heat map below. Included here are links to the 19 Retrospective ideas.

Green = 1 group voted it there

Orange = 2 groups voted it there

Red = all 3 groups voted it there

While these results are highly subjective, it gives us some insight into people’s thoughts on the Tuckman Model

Mat and TK were invited (at very short notice!) to run a session titled: “Mat & TK something whacky” — that’s quite enough inspiration for a title!

We decide to brainstorm, and turn down our non-creative concerns about lack of time to come up with the following:

  1. Get people to define what ingredients make up a ‘Whacky’ retrospective
  2. Introduce the 5 stages of a retrospective (from Esther Derby & Diana Larson’s book)

3. Split into rooms giving each group a portion of the retro to make up

4. Come back and see what crazy monsters have been created with everyone’s creative juices flowing…

We got some great (and whacky) ideas…

  • Sharing meme’s and whatsapp channel quotes to guess the celebrity
  • Film & Dog — find out someone’s fave film, then explore what kind of Dog that makes them
  • Throw a pig into your team — Pig has an awesome sense of smell.. so smell out and detect the post it notes and decide which ones are worth rubbing against.
  • Use Spin the Bottle to choose an action for the next iteration
  • Talking Nicely behind your back — saying only nice things about someone for 1 whole minute

Using Zoom and breakout rooms we managed to run both sessions 3 times in the Meetup, and also took a quick pause to go outside and applaud the NHS.

Like Hannibal from the ‘A-Team’ once said, “we love it when a plan comes together”… especially with limited preparation time!

We had lots of fun and made some great connections… so a big thanks to Play14, AWA and Treatwell for putting on such an elaborate gig and inviting Humble Associates to be part of it!



Humble Associates

Helping you get unstuck with change, through playful and creative coaching.