Here in my Thoughtworks project we wanted to try a new retrospective technique — just to give a little twist and stop things going stale.
So we decided to give a try and use the Six thinking Hats technique applied to retrospectives. The Six Thinking Hats - Wikipedia is a general-purpose technique for group discussion that helps the group to think in the same way during different stages, so it looks perfect for a retro :-)
I was the facilitator in this session, and grabbed some information from different sources to create my own tailored Six Thinking Hats session for my team. I used a whiteboard divided into six columns to represent the different hats states (view image)
The session went through the following steps:
What about timing? To be honest, as this was the first time we run out of time :-(, so this session took more than 60 minutes. This was the timetable we had:
00 — blue hat — explain and make people write
03 — blue hat — categorize and read out loud
05 — white hat — explain and ask people to write
12 — white hat — categorize and read out loud
15 — yellow hat — explain and make people write
18 — yellow hat — categorize and read out loud
20 — yellow hat — talk
25 — black hat — explain and make people write
30 — black hat — categorize and read out loud
32 — black hat — talk + actions
45 — green hat — explain and make people write
48 — green hat — categorize and read
48 — green hat — talk + actions
55 — red hat — explain and ask people write
57 — red hat — read them
60 — finish!
Tips and tricks:
The feedback was very positive: people wrote more stickies than in other retros and they were also more motivated and focused during the session.
I used the following links: