Lego Serious Play for Retrospectives

I have recently facilitated a retrospective (a meeting with a purpose to introduce good change to how the team works) with the use of Lego Serious Play. Here is a summary of the activities I used and some brief reflections on how it went.

Activities 

  1. Introduction/Ice-breaker – we used the Lego Serious Play starter kits  and did the duck activity – all attendees have to find the same 6 Lego pieces and then make a duck out of them (I wrote more about this activity in my previous blog post). This activity is great for familiarising the attendees with the Lego set, getting them into creative mindset but also demonstrates really well that we all have different ideas that are worth listening to.
  2. The second exercise was to build an animal from the Lego pieces. The participants have to then modify the animal to express how they are feeling about the upcoming retrospective session. The purpose here was to lead the team from model to metaphor building and get them to start actively listening to one another.
  3. The follow up exercise was to modify the animal models to show how the participants are feeling about their team’s work. This marked the end of the ice breaker phase as the team started to focus on reflections on how they work.
  4. We left the Lego pieces for the next activity (Hot air baloon) and came back to using Lego in the gathering insights phase. I based the activity on the Perfection Game and asked the participants to build a Lego model of their production process that would score 10 points out of 10. After everyone described their models we put together the emerging common themes  on the flip chart paper. The next task for the team was to decide what actions would be needed to achieve the ideal process. The rest of the meeting was done without the use of Lego.

Reflections
Using Lego for the introduction and ice breaker activities worked really well. Everyone in the room was really engaged and energised – well, I guess playing with Lego makes most people happy!

Using Lego made the meeting   more “lean in” with everyone participating equally rather than “opting out” and not engaging with activities. However, listening to everyone talking about their models takes time so  the process is quite slow.

Summary

On the whole I was happy with the use of Lego Serious Play for the retrospective, especially the team building aspect. I would definitely use Lego again, if there is enough time!

I’d be really interested to hear about any other Lego related activities for retrospectives – let me know on twitter (@alicja_shah) or in the comments below.

 

 

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One thought on “Lego Serious Play for Retrospectives

  1. Hi Alicja,

    I love the idea of using Lego in meetings/retrospectives. I am an AFOL (Adult Fan of Lego) and any chance I get to use Lego at work is a bonus. I think that I will need to attend a Lego Serious Play as the activities you have undertake sound great (and I am sure that there are more that you could use).

    I have previously run the Lego Flow Game (http://availagility.co.uk/2014/01/15/announcing-the-lego-flow-game/) with a number of teams as an introduction for them to think about the current processes, rules/policies and procedures, to identify where improvements could be made. I used Lego from a number of the ‘classic’ sets from which it was possible to build a number of Lego animals, rather than the advent calendar on Mini-figure bags as others have used.

    As you will know, the individuals at the sessions loved playing with Lego and we had some productive sessions that allowed for improvements to be made to out processes, reducing cycle time.

    I have also been at a conference where Lego was used to explaining the Cynefin framework (http://www.agile42.com/en/blog/2011/12/25/cynefin-lego-game/) and am due to attend a session next week that uses Lego to explain TDD (Test Driven Development). I also hope to attend Geoff Watts Certified Scrum Master course that uses Lego.

    Happy to discuss further.

    Robin

    Like

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