Pair Poetry

This is an exercise to help people understand why pair programming works; in particular why it produces better code. It has some usefulness for helping technical team members understand this, but I have found it even better for helping managers understand why pair collaboration works. Each team of two needs Rory’s Story Dice (or other forms of picture dice). I suppose picture-oriented cards shuffled and…

Art Gallery Retrospective

This is a retrospective technique I learned from Esther Derby and Jerry Weinberg. I’ve extended it a bit differently into the analysis and deciding what to do portions as they were using the technique as a debrief mechanism for an activity in the PSL course. This technique is particularly useful for multi-team/large groups. It will take about 120 minutes to run in full. One may…

Newspaper Retro

Background This is an idea I presented at the Retrospective Facilitator’s Gathering in May 2019. Newspaper articles tell stories based on facts. So this retrospective idea is to use this metaphor to capture data, analyze it, and decide on some actions. In some ways, it is similar to the team co-creating an A3 report. Each person is a reporter bringing the news back and then…

Conway’s Compositions

In 1967, Melvin Conway introduced the idea that states “organizations which design systems… are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations.” This has become known as Conway’s Law. While Conway was a programmer, his law rings true for about any product that a system of people develops. This game is intended to demonstrate the impact different organizational structures…

Pass on Perfection

Pass on Perfection is a game suitable for creating a Minimally Viable Product or anything else you need that is minimally viable. Several people have reported on using it for teaming agreements, definitions of done or ready, or actions to possibly obtain some form of improvement. It’s simple and fun and plays out a bit differently with groups and subjects. It’s a mash-up of Yes…