Retro Game – With Improvements to Championship

Agile Jan 13, 2020

A big challenge in self-organised or agile teams is motivation. To increase this is a crucial and ongoing task of each Scrum Master. To support a team on its journey of continuously improvement a good Scrum Master is constantly looking for effective methods to motivate his team.

The Idea

In the past few weeks I often got in touch with one particular approach: Gamification

Gamification is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts. Gamification commonly employs game (opens new window)design elements which are used in non-game contexts to improve user engagement (…)” (wikipedia (opens new window))

Playing is fun and motivating!

That is why I came up with a retrospective. I tried it with a team and now I want to share my experience in this article.

The Retro Game

At first I decided to use a simple board game. The board and the game rules I drew on two flipcharts. The board you can see in the picture below.


As you can see, the board is quite simple. Each player has to move from the start over 40 fields to the end. For this each team member has his own token.

The rules of the retro game are simple as well. In a row every team member dices with two dices and moves his token with the sum of both dices. Dependent on which kind of field the token arrives, the team member or the team has to do a certain retrospective activity.

The rules and the meaning of the different fields I wrote on another flipchart.



The game board consists of different fields:

WhiteThe player mentions something from the last sprint, which went well or not so well.
YellowYellowThe player suggests an improvement. If the majority of the team thinks, that his idea is a good one, the player is allowed to dice again
GreenGreenThe player gives positive feedback to a team colleague
BlueBlueThe player decides for a topic, which will be the base of a Quaeker round. This means everybody is allowed to give one statement to the topic
RedRedThe player decides for a topic, on which there will be a five minute group discussion.


The whole format is changeable, of cause. For example, you can change the board or invent new fields.

However, when you change the game in some places, it is important to think about the goal you want to achieve.


An important part of agile is celebrating achievements. It helps motivating individuals and the team as well. That is why I needed some kind of price for the winner of my retro game.

So I created badges from paper for the first three of the retro game. You can see them in the picture below.



Motivation is important. Gamification can help you to support the motivation of your Scrum team. The shown retrospective is an example for that. However as each retrospective this one can be tailored and improved. That is why I invite all of you to discuss with me on that.