Retropoly

Retropoly is a game to be played dur­ing ret­ro­spec­tive meet­ings of Agile teams. It is based on the Monop­oly game con­cept. It is main­ly designed for Scrum teams, but it is suit­able with minor adjust­ments for any oth­er Agile method­ol­o­gy. The game is basi­cal­ly a fun, yet prac­ti­cal, tool to apply the twelfth prin­ci­ple of Agile man­i­festo:

At reg­u­lar inter­vals, the team reflects on how to become more effec­tive,
then tunes and adjusts its behav­ior accord­ing­ly.

Who can play it

Retropoly can be played by any Agile team with at least 5 mem­bers. Below this size of the team it is still pos­si­ble to play the game, but the fun of it is part­ly lost due to the low num­ber of Ret­ro­spec­tive Cards.

There are three roles in this game: the Game Mas­ter, the Play­er and the Debate Facil­i­ta­tor.

The Game Mas­ter is a role played usu­al­ly played by the Scrum Mas­ter / Ret­ro­spec­tive Facil­i­ta­tor who orga­nizes the game and serves as a ref­er­ee. He/she is also rep­re­sent­ing the Bank.

The Play­er is also a role played by all the mem­bers of the team. On team request, rel­e­vant exter­nal per­sons might be invit­ed to play the game.

The Debate Facil­i­ta­tor is a role which is played by one of the play­ers. The Debate Facil­i­ta­tor acts as a mod­er­a­tor of the debates dur­ing one round of dis­cus­sions. The Play­ers are tak­ing turns to play this role.

Why playing it

Because it allows the team to thor­ough­ly go through all the aspects of a ret­ro­spec­tive. The cer­e­mo­ny will run smooth­ly and its objec­tives will be easy to achieve, if every­body is fol­low­ing the game rules.

Because it allows the lead­ers that works with the team to con­duct a mean­ing­ful team coach­ing. It will encour­age an hon­est self-assess­ment of each mem­ber of the team and the pos­i­tive feed­back for the sup­port pro­vid­ed by col­leagues. It will improve the abil­i­ty of the team to take com­mon deci­sions in a time­ly man­ner and the prac­tice of mod­er­at­ed debates.

Because it strength­en the team rela­tion­ships by get­ting to know each oth­er through shar­ing of per­son­al life aspects, like hob­bies and pas­sions.

Because it allows to observe how ret­ro­spec­tives are improv­ing over the time.

And last, but not least, because it is fun.

What do you need

  • A room with at least one table and chairs for all par­tic­i­pants
  • A Retropoly board*
  • One pawn and one dice
  • A set of Stage Cards*
  • A set of Chal­lenge Cards (plus a print­ed doc­u­ment with the cor­rect answers)*
  • Some paper notes to cre­ate the Ret­ro­spec­tive Cards (not sticky, size of a busi­ness card, prefer­ably 3 dif­fer­ent col­ors)
  • Pok­er chips (15 of 5€, 15 of 10€, 10 of 25€ and 10 of 50€ for each play­er)
  • Monop­oly mon­ey for the Bank (10 bills of 200€ and 10 bills of 500€)
  • A score sheet*
  • Some flipchart sheets on a wall
  • Some paper-based adhe­sive tape
  • A scis­sor
  • Mark­ers

* These items can be down­loaded from our site, the rest you need to pro­cure it by your­self.

Additional information

There is no copy­right pro­tec­tion for Retropoly game con­cept, so you may use it freely. The author of this game, Sorin Sfîr­logea, con­sid­ers that the game should and will evolve in the future based on the expe­ri­ences of the prac­ti­tion­ers that will use it. So we encour­age you to con­tact us and let us know your impres­sions and the improve­ments that you iden­ti­fied while play­ing Retropoly. Thank you in advance for your com­ments and sug­ges­tions.

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