With COVID-19 currently forcing the population to work from home, we wanted to give you a quick guide to some of our retrospective ideas and icebreakers that can be run virtually and are great for remote teams.Not all activities translate well from physical to digital, but we're confident that this selection will go down a treat on your next Zoom or Skype call...We give you our top pick of activities for remote teams:
A retrospective is a team session where you reflect on how you worked together over a recent sprint, project or period of time (often two weeks). It's a chance to discuss and agree on what you could do differently moving forward that would help you go faster, produce better quality products or generally become better as a team.We have a large collection of retrospective ideas on the hub, but these three are guaranteed to work just as well in a virtual meeting as they do in person:
Just because you are all working remotely doesn't mean you still can't get creative! Ask the group to grab some pens and paper, draw their reflections, then show their masterpieces back to the group on webcam (or they can put a snap on the team whatsapp).https://agileavengershub.com/resources/sprint-retrospective-ideas/draw-your-sprint-creative-retrospective/
For this Agile retrospective, we recommend using an online board tool like reetro.io - it's free, easy to setup and easy for remote teams to join. Simply ask your teams what they Liked, Lacked, Loathed and Learned via the digital board, then let the team add their thoughts. With the current situation, you're sure to get some great insights!https://agileavengershub.com/resources/sprint-retrospective-ideas/the-four-ls/
Very similar idea to The Four L's - this is a simple retrospective format that you can facilitate via a digital tool like reetro.io and get the team reflecting on the good, the bad and the ugly.Top Tip: the key to making these simple retrospective ideas amazing is guiding the group through to some actions at the end that will make a difference moving forward.https://agileavengershub.com/resources/sprint-retrospective-ideas/mad-sad-glad-great-for-remote-teams/
Whilst everyone's in isolation, keeping team spirit high is absolutely vital. You're going to need to make time for fun & socialising, and that's where having a few icebreakers up your sleeve can come in handy...These typically take 5-30 minutes and can make for a 'Friday afternoon fun' slot - try setting aside an hour last thing on a Friday for a virtual team drink and throw in a couple of these to eliminate the lock-down cabin fever:
A classic icebreaker, and easily done over video conference. If your team is relatively new, it's a great way to get to know eachother better. If your team has been together a while, it'll make for a tricker game but even more fun thinking up lies and digging deeper for truths!Top Tip: add your beverage of choice and this can become a great post-work social activity.https://agileavengershub.com/resources/icebreakers/two-truths-one-lie-know-your-co-workers/
A hilarious game that'll test your bluffing skills! You can make this game digital by sending the team a private whatsapp message each with either the category or GHOST (instead of handing out paper slips physically).https://agileavengershub.com/resources/icebreakers/ghost-word-association-game/
A team favourite - Empires is a SUPER icebreaker to facilitate physically, and just as easy to play with your team virtually. Rather than having the group write down a character on paper, simply ask them to DM you their character via Skype/Slack/WhatsApp, then you can read out the names over your video conference platform of choice.https://agileavengershub.com/resources/icebreakers/empires-learn-names-fast/
The COVID-19 period has forced unprecedented measures to ensure public safety, but this doesn't mean your team spirit needs to die in isolation...
Think a little outside the box and be bold with your team when it comes to how you facilitate meetings - it doesn't need to be lifeless video calls all day!
You'll need to create extra time and space for social conversation and fun. This happens naturally in the office all the time as you bump into friendly faces or head out for lunch, but remote meetings can end up being a little more 'to the point' and you'll miss those interpersonal moments.Scheduling team time for games & socialising may feel a little 'unprofessional', but perhaps the working world of 2020 and beyond needs a little more 'human' and a little less 'professional' to make it through these new challenges together.We hope you enjoy our top picks of virtual activities for remote teams. Let us know how you get on.