Bob the Scrum Builders

by Jon 12. September 2018 20:22

How would you rank the following teams?

This retro will help your teams explore some key agile concepts; value, focus, slack, commitment, respect and openness by helping your team members to think about a team from both the customers and a team member point of view. Using a different type of team such as a building team to the one your in will help conversations to flow, as there should be a higher level of psychological safety that will enable team members to think more deeply and share deeper insights. You can try this with your teams, product owners and managers to explore agile principles and open discussions around the relationships between values and trade-offs. I Hope you enjoy trying it as much as I did creating it and trying it out.

The Story

You are doing some building work at your house and you are given the details of 6 building squads who can do a week’s work on a fixed price contract. You the customer pays for one week’s work to the crew at the start of the week. You also have some feedback on how each of the crew’s work, the teams are as follows:

  • Team Mango: Under Promise, Deliver and then stop and go home early
  • Team Banana: Under Promise, Over Deliver what’s needed
  • Team Kiwi: Over Promise, deliver what we promised but in a rush resulting in low quality/botched work.
  • Team Apple: Under Promise and Over deliver including extra things we think are valuable
  • Team Carrot: Promise Exactly and Deliver Exactly as Promised
  • Team Cherry: Over Promise and Deliver some of it; the bits we can or prefer to do.


As appropriate during the retro try asking your team some of the following questions:

How would you rank the building squads from preferred to Least preferred?

Why do you think this team is preferable to that team?

Do all the crews exist, i.e. are any of the crew statements impossible?

What similarities are there between any of these crews and our team?

How is our team different to these teams, where would we be ranked?

What would you change (in the rankings) if we were thinking about the longer term?

Which team would you enjoy working in, and what effect would that have over the longer term?

How does trust fit in?


If your team selects Team Carrot (the ‘perfect’ team) as the top team you may want to ask some questions to explore perfection and the shadow side of perfection:

How realistic is it to expect a team to accurately estimate and deliver to an exact time estimate?


Ask your team summarise any surprising insights and if appropriate focus in to get some team agreements on things to change in response to the retro.

I ran this retro recently with one of my teams and though the insights by my team were interesting. Please drop me a tweet if you want to find out more, if you have any feedback or if anything in this post surprises you.


Agile | Scrum | Retro

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