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Games and Ideas for Fun Retrospectives

Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert
Posted on
Jul 9, 2020
Updated on
Jan 3, 2022
Table of Content

Are you looking for ways to engage your development team and keep them focused while having fun sprint retrospective meetings? Why not incorporate some games and fun ideas into your retro meet ups? 

Let’s look at some fun retrospective games you might incorporate into your Agile Retrospective meetings to keep team members engaged and having fun.

Idea #1: Word Retrospective

The one word retrospective is a fun and straight-to-the-point game where each team member sums up their feelings about the past iteration in one word. As the team members say their words, the facilitator jots them down on a flip chart. Once the words are written down, there will be more discussion about them using “why” questions. 

The dev team then discusses each word and chooses which issues they will take on and which improvements they will work on. This game is a great way to make sure everyone is heard and feels like their ideas are valued.

Idea #2: Draw the Sprint

The Draw the Sprint Retrospective is a creative way to have the team reflect on the past sprint. Each member receives index cards or sticky notes and markers or pens. The facilitator then asks questions about the past sprint such as: 

  • How did you feel?
  • What was the most remarkable moment?
  • What was the biggest issue?
  • What would you have liked to see instead?
  • Etc.

The team then draws their answer to each question and the drawings are posted on a whiteboard. The team guesses the answers before discussing them.

Idea #3: Writing the Unspeakable

This exercise is done in order to help team members see what is holding them back. This is a silent activity. Each team member is asked to write down what they feel is holding them back, either with the company or within the sprint itself. Once they have written it down, they pass the paper to the left and the next person reads it and adds notes. The papers are passed until it reaches the original owner to review, and then they are torn up and thrown away.

Idea #4: The Feedback Game

This is a fun way to find out more about your own character and is a good way to give feedback to other dev team members about their attitude and behavior in the workplace. There are 140 cards with different characteristics, and everyone is asked different questions like:

  • What are my qualities?
  • How do others perceive me?
  • What qualities should I try to improve?

This is a nice team-building exercise and a good way to help your team see their own strengths and what they should work on.

Idea #5: The Constellation

The constellation retrospective starts with placing an object in the middle of the circle of team members. Statements are then read aloud, and team members are asked to move in towards the object if they agree, and away if they disagree. Statements can be things like:

  • I feel like I can talk openly in Retrospective.
  • I am happy with the quality of our team.

Idea #6: Truths and a Lie

Each team member writes down three statements about the previous agile sprint, 2 of which will be truths, and one will be a lie. They must then read them, and the rest of the team guesses which is the lie. This is a fun icebreaker for meetings.

Idea #7: Remember the Future

The retro game of remember the future is an inventive way to generate ideas for the team’s next iteration. The scene is set by telling team members to imagine they have traveled to the future at the time of the next iteration and ask each of them to describe it. What is involved? How do you feel? And more…

Idea #8: ESVP

The ESVP activity is a fun retrospective that helps you to find out how the team feels about the meeting and what is the primary reason it didn't go well.
In this game, participants anonymously choose which of the following categories best fits how they feel about the meeting - Explorers, The Shoppers, Vacationers or Prisoners.

Sprint Retrospectives don’t have to be boring in order to be productive. With these fun and engaging exercises, your team can enjoy meetings while still reaching their goals.

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