My favorite retrospective activity is Perfection Game. Perfection Game is the single best activity to give or receive feedback about anything. The usual kind of feedback doesn’t work because it’s imposed on you, not done on request; you’re not ready for the feedback, so you resist it. The feedback is usually a negative experience: you didn’t do X properly, you didn’t do Y well enough, when you did Z it was a problem. And if you don’t take feedback, you’re labeled as a bad person in your company, “someone who doesn’t take feedback well.” All of this evokes your body’s fight-or-flight threat response: you can’t really hear the feedback, fight against it, you disconnect from your teammates.
Perfection Game is the antidote to the usual kind of feedback. It works because it’s all positive. In a Perfection Game retrospective, you reflect on your team and give your team a score from 1 to 10. Then you share a list of your team’s positive attributes—all the things that made them a good team during the last sprint. Finally, you share a list of actions you could take together to make your team a “perfect 10.”
Use this retrospective tool with your teammates to reflect on your performance together as a team and to agree on the most important improvements to make together on your way to becoming the best team that ever existed in the history of the universe.
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