Play time: Hands-On workshop- " Agile Retrospectives games using Luke Hohmann Innovation Games for distributed teams"

The key to Scrum team effectiveness is continuous improvement that can be realized through the inspect-and-adapt opportunity: the retrospectives. Retrospectives help the teams inspect on their strengths and weaknesses and come up with strategies to become stronger every sprint. The biggest challenge for geographically dispersed teams is finding ways to leverage the essence behind the Agile value statement "Individuals and interactions over processes and tools" and behind the principle that states, "The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-face communication." However, by using some good collaboration tools, we can reap the benefits of face-to-face communication to some extent. Retrospectives play a vital role for distributed teams as well as collocated ones, and by using some good online collaboration tools, these inspect-and-adapt ceremonies can be really made effective!

This workshop will be an actual hands-on workshop where environment of distributed team is simulated, people actually participate and do an online retrospective using their laptops by playing the games under retrospective techniques at “Luke Hohmann Innovation games” website

Published games:

1. Fly High 2. Team Journey 3. Team Craft 4. Mountain Trekking

These games have been published on Innovation games website, that use very effective metaphors that enable the team to wear a different thinking hat while doing the retrospectives.

This session would definitely be an eye opener for distributed teams, for doing retrospectives at ease. It is a lean way of doing a retrospective that saves a lot of time, automatically collates the discussion points of all the participants on just a single click of button. And the most important thing, it is really fun playing this. Teams would really enjoy this! The three game themes that are going to be used for this workshop are based on some realistic scenarios that enable the teams to really relate to what they are doing.


Outline/Structure of the Workshop

Structure of the Session

  1. 10 min - Talk about distributed retrospectives, explain the Innovation games website.
  2. 45 min- exercise, Divide the audience into groups and do an actual retrospective by using the games listed below from Luke Hohmann Innovation games website ( their laptops.

Listed below are the techniques that use some very good themes:

  1. Fly High: which uses the metaphor of flying a kite to help a team identify impediments at different levels

  2. Team Journey:which helps a team emphasize teamwork as they undertake their journey together.

  3. Team Craft:The metaphor used in this game is ,the team is on its mars mission of reaching the Sprint goal.This helps them to brainstorm and identify the driving forces, i.e. what we need to keep doing to ensure we hit the target, and the pulling forces which are like the impediments and bottlenecks that are stopping the team back from reaching their targets.

  4. Mountain Trekking:which uses the metaphor of mountain hiking to help teams identify risks and opportunities;

It will be a practical hands-on session where the attendees do the retrospective online and see how the retrospective data is automatically collated in a ready made excel format.

Simulation for distributed teams using some very different techniques that use powerful metaphors. These are fun-filled techniques, that simulate thinking in teams as they use realistic examples.

Location of games and their embedded link:



Please Note:

  1. Participants can play this game by using their own dongles for connecting to internet or can use internet WiFi.
  2. If the panel does not want the attendees to do a hands-on workshop, then we can simulate the distributive nature of the team by using one system by playing the game in different browsers by logging in using different accounts.
  3. If internet connectivity is seen as a problem,  the simulation can be pre-recorded  and shown.


Learning Outcome

Participants get to learn

  • how to leverage the innovation
  • how to create their own retrospective techniques
  • how retrospectives can be fun and quick, and the same time very effective even for distributed teams.

Target Audience

Agile practitioners

schedule Submitted 5 years ago