This week I tried something different while facilitating a retrospective for a team in my department. I asked them if instead of conducting a normal retrospective, if they would enjoy some team building exercises. I’m glad to report that they said yes because it’s something I’ve wanted to try for a while now.
I used an activity from Lyssa Adkins Agile Coaching book about value words. The activity is explained for starting up new teams, however, I saw no reason it could not be taken advantage by an active team. I had to make some modifications for time and to account for video conferencing to a remote site. I created a value word poker game which will need some refinement before sharing.
After the hour ended, I got lots of positive feedback from the team. Great success! It got me thinking, was the team just starving for team building or was it just a pleasant diversion from the weekly retrospective? It could be both. I’ve found most teams believe in team building but, besides going to lunch, no one really knows how to do it.
In the weeks ahead, I’m going to spend time coming up with team building activities that circumvent the remote location issues and move them into the monthly or bi-monthly rotation of team retrospectives. Besides, what better place to learn about your teammates and use the time wisely given to teams then in a retrospective?