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Booya, <<Your Given Name>>!

2 new activities just landed in Retromat 🎉
Plus, there's a Chinese version now

Time Capsule (#132)
Make long-term progress visible by storing impediments in a time capsule
Source: Katrin Dreyer

It’s hard to see progress when you chip away at your challenges but in hindsight the improvements are impressive. Set your team up to realize how much it has improved in half a year. This activity will also broaden the team’s perspective to bigger topics beyond everyday improvements.

Caution: Do not use this activity if you suspect there are big unspoken issues.

Hand out pens and fancy paper. Tell participants to complete the following two sentences:
  • ’I think our biggest impediment right now is: …’
  • ’What I want to try to get rid of it: …’
Afterwards, each person reads out their impediment and plan of action. Some issues and plans might stir discussion. If needed, use Lean Coffee (#51) to dot-vote and structure which issues to discuss. If somebody wants to adapt their plan of action or if the entire team wants to commit to an action item, that’s okay. (But nobody can tell anyone else that their impediment isn’t “valid”.)

When the discussion dies down, put all papers into the bottle and close it well. Now bury it or put it into the back of your cabinet. Put a reminder in your calendar in 6 months time.

When you open the bottle with the team in half a year, check which impediments are gone. How did you do it? With the action plan you’d written down or something else? Celebrate!
Tell me something I don't know (#133)
Reveal everyone's hidden knowledge with a game show
Source: Adapted by Kai Alexander Lohr

Instruct participants as follows: ‘There’s a game show called ‘Tell me something I don’t know’. In it a guest states a fact, poses a related question and then the hosts ask questions in order to guess the right answers.

Here’s an example: ‘In the US you always sing along to the national anthem. In Spain no one does. Can you guess why?’ The hosts ask questions such as ‘Does it have to do with the Franco era?’, ‘Are the lyrics in a foreign language e.g. Latin?’ etc. They either guess the answer or the guest reveals it (‘The Spanish anthem doesn’t have any lyrics’).

We’re going to play this game now. Each of you will be the guest once with all the others asking questions. Reflect on the past iteration. Use the next 5 minutes to think of a fact and question.’

The fact has to fulfill 3 criteria. Write them down on a board or reveal a pre-written flipchart:
  1. It must be something that only you know and most other team members don’t know (or are unaware of)
  2. It must be worth knowing
  3. It must be actionable, i. e. have the potential to spark anything along the lines of "Let's do more/less of this.", "Watch out this doesn't happen to you.", "That was awesome. Do try it yourself.", ...
Let them write down their fact on an index card. When everyone is ready, ask the first participant to hang up their index card on the board and present their fact and question to the audience. (People who feel uncomfortable with the game flair don’t have to ask a question. They can also just tell the story around their fact without questions from the ‘audience’.) The audience asks questions to guess the answer. Short discussions are okay. The Scrum Master may also ask questions and gently steer the conversation towards possible actions. Document any actions identified during the discussion on the board. Then move on to the next participant. Use about 5 minutes per participant.

Once all the facts have been presented, the team dot-votes which fact fulfilled the 3 criteria best. The winner receives a framed “Certificate of impressive knowledge”. It documents that “$name has impressed $team with their impressive knowledge”.

The facts and actions can be input for "Generate insight" or use the actions for "Decide what to do”.
New Language: Chinese
Nimen hao, everyone! Enjoy the Chinese version:

The Chinese version started with a super impressive 129 translated activties. Huge thanks to Cunhao and the team!
If you've got agile contacts in China, please help spread the word!
Have an awesome week,


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Copyright © 2018 Corinna Baldauf, All rights reserved.

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