Hot Or Not, Fist Or Five

If you’re in Boston, you know it’s, like, 105 degrees. Or 85 degrees, dipping into the 90’s, but we adamantly complain about this weather like it’s suddenly our jobs, so it might as well be 105.

(Attempt at a smooth transition in 3… 2…)

Moving to what we can control, and might equally have a few opinions about, Retrospectives are meant to, yes, get people thinking back and talking about the Sprint. You might read that at the end of a Retrospective, there is a meta-Retrospective: the team talks quickly about how that meeting went. One way to do this is via the ‘fist or five’ technique.

At the same time, so have some fun with it by counting down from 3, everybody sticks up a hand with the number of fingers representing how much they liked the meeting. Five fingers mean they really liked the meeting, got a lot out of it, thought it was a solid use of time, and they’re so happy, they want to make love to everybody, like Roberto Benigni.

No fingers is a fist, and this means they really did not like the meeting, are now dumber for it, thought it was a total waste of time, and they’re so unhappy, they want to conduct atrocities of great evil, like not commenting code.

I’ve started applying this neat little technique to not just the Retrospective, but to each artifact and ceremony of the past Sprint. Do this at the beginning of the Retrospective by listing Stand-up Meeting, Sprint Planning Meeting, Sprint Backlog, Product Backlog, etc., and getting the team to vote on each of these, tallying up the number of 0s through 5s for each Scrummy thing.

Et voila: the team opines on pieces of the process as a primer to providing pithy ponderings on the previous passage of purposeful participation.

Tying this back to the last blog post, we now have more to consider for how to adapt in the next Sprint.