Retrospective Technique: Appreciation Post Cards

Philip Rogers
Sep 27, 2015 · 2 min read

Scrum Master/Coach gets to be a Post Master for a day …

In an earlier post, I wrote about how teams can focus on the positive by devoting an entire retrospective to playing the “Appreciation Game.”

Borrowing from another retrospective technique that I have occasionally employed, where team members write post cards to each other, it occurred to me that a fun (and very fast) mashup of the Appreciate Game with post cards is what I describe below, which I’m calling “Appreciation Post Cards.”

How it works

As the facilitator, set up the activity as follows:

Ask each team member to silently write a post card to any other member of the team, thanking them for something that they did. They can write as many post cards as they like, and they can address them either to individuals or to multiple people.

  • For collocated teams, hand out note cards and writing instruments, and ask each person to: Write the name(s) of the post card recipient on one side; write a thank you note on the other side; (and optionally) add visuals like an image of a postage stamp or a post card image, if they are so inclined

Facilitation Suggestion — Play the Post Master

When I facilitated this activity, I acted as a Post Master, where:

  • I asked everyone who was physically present to hand me their post cards

I found that hanging onto the post cards until the end (or soon after) created a sense of anticipation among the team members, where they had something fun to look forward to. Keeping the cards to the end added a second benefit of making it easier to keep the identities of the post card writers anonymous, or at the very least, making a more interesting and fun guessing game for the various team members.

Try it and let me know what you think, or what interesting variations on it that you come up with!

innovative agile techniques and practices

As an alternative to drawing a box and saying "everything…

Philip Rogers

Written by

I love to work with teams to help them improve. Most of my recent experiences are with teams using Lean/Agile approaches (variations on Scrum, Kanban, XP).

innovative agile techniques and practices

As an alternative to drawing a box and saying "everything inside is Agile," this collection is for anyone who is looking for techniques that inject spontaneity and fun, and encourage open sharing of perspectives.

Philip Rogers

Written by

I love to work with teams to help them improve. Most of my recent experiences are with teams using Lean/Agile approaches (variations on Scrum, Kanban, XP).

innovative agile techniques and practices

As an alternative to drawing a box and saying "everything inside is Agile," this collection is for anyone who is looking for techniques that inject spontaneity and fun, and encourage open sharing of perspectives.

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