Pinterest, Retros, Scrum Master, Uncategorized

The Hobbit/LOTR retro

September 22nd is Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday, also known as Hobbit Day. So in honor of Hobbit Day I created a retro for the team to asses how Scrum is going Hobbit/LOTR style.

Stage #1 – Set the goal/ context (1 min)

The goal of this retrospective is to look at how the adventure of Scrum is working or not working for the team, to identify and gather feedback from Sprint XX, and to create action items to improve challenges as well as continue to maximize what is working for the team.

Stage #2 – Focus ON: How Scrum is/ has been an adventure for the team (5-10 min)

Post and have team members read the following memes. Then ask the questions below and write down the responses from the team.


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  1. How has Scrum been an adventure during the last however long you have been using it?
  2. What has surprised you about how the adventure of Scrum has been? Have you been surprised by any changes you have seen in yourself, your team, &/or your place of employment?

Stage #3 – Check – In; Riddles (5 min)

Post where everyone can see/ read these or copy and pass out. Give everyone a couple minutes to write down answers on a post it note. Go over answers and laugh/ see who watched/read the Hobbit so many times they memorized/ know answers.

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Stage #4 – Energizer; The Hobbit Questions

Type each question out and cut into strips, place in a bag, hat, bowl… and let each team member pick two and answer.


Stage #5 – Gathering Feedback

  1. Create 4 quadrants on a white board and draw an image for each or use the pics below.

The-Shire-the-shire-33427044-600-382 The Shire, represents everything that is good and right in the world/ your team/ job etc.

782px-Ted_Nasmith_-_Across_Gorgoroth Mordoor, represents everything that is so bad and wrong in the world/ your team/ job etc,.. that it needs to stop.

735px-Ted_Nasmith_-_Entering_Mirkwood Mirkwood/ (The Forest of Great Fear) – represents things that you are fearful of happening or are happening. It is where you see entropy at work, things that suck you in and you can’t get out easily.

images (2) Rivendell, represents the place where things are good but there are multiple threats and that good state could change if not protected. In this space put things that are working but could stop working if attention is not given to them.

2. Ask teammates to add notes to each area; “So, in the context of the adventure Scrum has been/ is, please share what you consider; things that are good and under little to no threat this is represented by the Shire, things that are not good and need to be changed/ stopped this is represented by Mordoor, things that you are fearful will or are happening and areas where entropy is at work this is represented by Mirkwood, and things that are good but are threatened and without attention could turn into Mordoor, this is represented by Rivendell. Please write one on each post it note and place them on the board where they go when you are ready.

Stage #6 Analyze and Create Action Items

  1. Go through and read the post it notes, group them together if applicable, and dot vote to chose one or two to brainstorm on Action Items on if applicable. Reminder to ask the team for solutions rather than proposing them yourself 🙂
  2. Write down the Action Items that team agrees to commit to and make sure it is a SMART goal.
  3. Review the progress on the Action Items from last sprint and adjust accordingly, if need be.

Stage #7 – Close-Out; team choice “Would You Rather Hobbit Style” or 5-10 min of playing a Hobbit video game individually.

Would you Rather questions – print and cut them out and pass around like energizer questions.

  1. Would you rather Be a dwarf or a hobbit?
  2. Would you rather hang out with Peregrin “Pippin” Took and Meriadoc “Merry” Brandybuck or Aragorn and Gandalf?
  3. Would you rather be part of The Fellowship of the Ring or Dumbledore’s Army?
  4. Would you rather watch Hunger Games or the Hobbit Trilogy?
  5. For your birthday would you rather have the Hobbits be in charge of the festivities and Gandolf at the fireworks (party may last a few days) or be given a birthday present by the Elves and Dwarves?
  6. Would you rather shoot arrows like Katniss Everdeen or Legolas?
  7. Would you rather be roommates with the Seven Dwarfs or Thorin Oakenshield and his dwarfs
  8. Would you rather live in a Hobbit house or a tree house?
  9. What was the better prequel trilogy, Star Wars 1-3 or The Hobbit?
  10. Would you rather have to fight goblins or orcs?

The video game is HERE

Enjoy and please don’t forget to incorporate FOOD into your festivities. There are so many fun things to make like lembas, seed cakes, and bacon and eggs plus things you can just bring like Swedish fish, hot tea, cheese plate etc. Here is a Pinterest page  I manage full of snack ideas and HERE is a website with recipes.

Please share your pics and feedback – and stay tuned for our pics. We will be doing this on Tuesday, September 26th.