Lessons learned with the sail boat

Lessons learned are team workshops during which a team thrive to identify how to improve the way to work as a team.  In AGILE retrospective meeting team members gather their feedback in 3 categories:

  • Start doing
  • Stop doing
  • Continue doing

Navigating through the AGILE games literature and inspiration for coaching workshop I recently rediscovered the speed boat.

Picture your project as a speed boat going very fast, what anchors are slowing you down ? The format is described in Game storming, a book and online website for brainstorming workshop.

The speed boat lessons learned proposes each participant to categorize their experience with the project in few categories:

  1. The wind, blows in the sail of the boat. It represents all the factors which have been helping the project to move forward
  2. The boat represent the team, the work environment, the team work and /or  the products delivered.
  3. The anchor, as in the original speed boat, represent the forces which are driving the team backward.
  4. The rocks are the dangers ahead. The risk s for the boat to wreck and for the project to fail.
  5. The island represents the goal of the team, where everybody is heading toward.
  6. I added the sun to picture the fun part in the team journey. The sun represents the things which are not essential or not part of the products delivered by the team but that the team loves doing or would love starting doing. It is the sanuk way of working in Thailand.

I created a template that I gave to each participant. I gave 5 minutes to the team members to collect there ideas on their template. I recommend the usage of yellow sticky notes to reduce the time consumed in the collection of the team feedback.

To empower the team to decide what are the positive elements to promote and the most important issues to address, you can propose the team to use dot voting. Each team member is given 5 dots to use to vote next to feedback given by the teams. The issues (anchors, rocks) receiving the more dots are the most urgent ones to address. The positive points (sun and island) which are receiving the more dots are the one to promote in the team organisation.

I also had the occasion once to see the sail boat used in a recruitment. The candidate was proposed to picture his drivers,  assets, blockers, fears, goals and ideals as the wind, board, anchor, rock, island and sun. It think it remove the anxiety of the situation were you are requesting to judge yourself.

In the same way it allowed my team members to share more openly about the team using the boat allegory than the typical  3 categories of AGILE lessons learned.

Heading image Image from  http://www.ironlionperformance.com/blog/2017/4/17/the-monday-mindset-grit

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