What is a Retro Candy Party?
09 Aug 2018 - Brigitte Maenhout
A fun and engaging retro format for distributed agile teams. Recommended for newly formed teams.
Step 1. Prepare and prerequisites
As a scrum master, mail your team members a 'candy retro package' containing:
- Colored sweets. For example M&M's, smarties, skittles, etc.
- A letter with instructions. (see below for the format of the retro)
- A warning label: do not eat before retro and keep cool.
- An official invitation to retro with online location and time.
Outcome of step 1: It's a nice little present to receive as a team member. Sets a positive mood for the retro.
Feel free to use our invitation template and our warning template. If you make your own, share it with us in the comment section, we love to see the creative brains at work! :)
Step 2. The Retro Candy Party
These are the instructions for the Retro Candy Party:
- Put your video camera on
- Put the bag of sweets in front of you
- When it's your turn, close your eyes and pick a candy
- Show the candy to the camera so your team can see what color it is
- Look at the color on the list, pick a question you want to answer and share the question and answer with your team.
- Your team can ask follow up questions
- Get the next person to pick a candy
Color questions: (adapt the colors and the questions if you need to)
- what do you love most about your job?
- what is the most amazing event that has ever happened in your life?
- what is your favorite movie to watch at Christmas?
- what did you want to grow up to be when you were a child?
- if you could instantly have any skill in the world, what would it be?
- if you had a superpower, what would it be?
- where do you get your energy from?
- what was your favorite band as a teenager and what is it now?
- if you could go on a shopping spree to any shop, what shop would you go to and what would you buy?
- what is your favorite holiday destination?
- if you were an animal what would you be and why?
- what is your favorite personality trait in one or more of your colleagues?
- what is your worst phobia?
- what do you dislike the most about your work?
- what is the best way for someone to give you constructive feedback?
- Brown: Eat the candy and pick another color.
It's surprising how important this one is, it generates a bit of fun when people get a brown sweet, it's like they have won a special prize. A variation is to attach a real prize (e.g. a mascot for their desk, a bag of crisps, etc...)
Outcome of step 2: The questions are designed to be a mix of fun questions that give a bit of insight into likes/dislikes on a personal and professional level. This makes it easy for the team to see what they have in common and it also sets the foundation to discuss team values and behaviors.
The Retro Candy Jar party is a variation of the Candy Jar retro you can find on: http://www.funretrospectives.com/candy-love/
We would love to hear your experiences with this retro, so please comment, share pictures and experiences! The agile community is a community of collaboration, so share the love! <3
Thank you and have a lovely day!