Fun and Easy Retrospective Alternatives

GroupMap’s fun agile retrospectives. Creative and fun ways of running focussed and effective retrospective meetings with your team.

Why Run a Fun Agile Retrospective?

Running fun agile retrospectives can help inject fresh perspectives into your meetings. They can also help address bad habits or antipatterns.

Fun agile retrospectives still support your team’s continuous improvement journey as they come together to connect, reflect and improve. They continue to deliver the benefits of traditional retrospectives such as – 

  • Giving your team the space to safely engage in healthy dissent and shape next steps.
  • Empowering teams through collaboration to solve problems and own the process.
  • Regularly identifying and addressing any problems before they escalate.

Fun agile retrospectives also – 

  • Tap into your team’s creative side.
  • Help your team consider their sprint from a fresh perspective.
  • Inject an element of fun in your retrospective meeting.
  • Change the focus of the retrospective.

If you sense your team is not really engaging with their traditional retrospective or simply on ‘retro-autopilot’ then try one of these alternative agile retrospectives.

Our Fun and Easy Retrospectives

Our team has hand-picked our top four fun retrospectives to help your team reflect and improve. 

  • Starfish retrospective
    An action and behavior-based retrospective that improves the way the team works.
  • Anchors and engines retrospective
    For addressing velocity and progress based on what is driving and slowing down the team.
  • Sailboat retrospective
    A goal-oriented retrospective that helps steer your team in the right direction
  • Hot air balloon retrospective
    Take a higher-level view that also acknowledges the team.
Tips for effective agile retrospective 

What is a Starfish Retrospective? 

 

The starfish retrospective was designed by Patrick Kua. It offers a different lens through which a group may review their work. It helps them to think about the varying degrees of the value of their actions and efforts.

In other words, unlike more traditional retrospectives, the starfish retrospective goes beyond creating a list of what happened or didn’t happen. It invites a group to think about and assess the practices that generated value. In doing so, the group can decide which should receive more energy and which should receive less. This then informs the group’s next steps.

Given that the focus of the starfish retrospective is on ‘current practice’, it’s best run after a number of retrospectives have occurred. This gives the group a greater timeframe of activity for them to consider. The starfish retrospective focuses on five areas:

  • What should we start doing?
  • What should we stop doing?
  • What should we keep doing?
  • What should we do more of?
  • What should we do less of?

Why Do a Starfish Retrospective?

Using a starfish retrospective helps a group refine their actions for future sprints. With it, they can examine the ‘how’ and the ‘what’ they do. This could include how they work within the organization and the way they work together as a team. 

With this in mind, GroupMap’s starfish retrospective does more than support your team’s review of their last sprint. It helps you reinforce healthy workplace habits by empowering your team to pursue their own continuous improvement.

Starfish Retrospective Template

What is Anchors and Engines Retrospective?

The anchors and engines agile retrospective is the perfect tool to use when you want to review the velocity of a project. It aims to identify the things that are impacting your team’s productivity.

The anchors and engines retrospective is intentionally simple. The team can share what is slowing them down (anchors) and speeding them up (engines). This could include difficulties with sticking to the critical path, meeting agreed outputs, or delivering goals. GroupMap’s anchors and engines retrospective focuses on two areas:

  • Anchors
  • Engines

Why Do an Anchors and Engines Retrospective?

Using an anchors and engines agile retrospective helps teams shape the next steps with the end goal in full view. It is a great tool for teams who might be in the middle of the project and finding that their progress has not been what they would like it to be or where people have experienced frustrations. The anchors and engines retrospective allows you to identify barriers so they can be addressed.

Anchors and Engines Retrospective Templateanchors and engine template image

What is a Hot Air Balloon Retrospective?

The hot air balloon retrospective is a simple, creative take on traditional retrospectives. Like the agile and 4Ls retrospectives, the hot air balloon retrospective supports the continuous improvement of a product or program.

A hot air balloon is used as a metaphor to help identify specific elements of a team’s most recent work, sprint or iteration. Additionally, it recognizes and acknowledges the effort of team members. GroupMap’s hot air balloon retrospective focuses on three areas:

Why Do a Hot Air Balloon Retrospective?

Using a hot air balloon retrospective can change up your retrospective game. It helps you reinforce a positive working environment by inspiring your team to recognize the efforts of others and helps you understand what is lifting them up, and dragging them down. It helps to improve the morale of the workplace and the team. By knowing this, your role as the Scrum Master can help remove the weights that are dragging or slowing them down and find ways to lift them up. Examples of things that are keeping us down could be some unnecessary bureaucracy, waiting on approval that may have slipped through the cracks or lack of automated testing. Examples of what is making us fly could be great tooling, process quality or efficient decision making processes.

  • What is making us fly?
  • What is keeping us down?
  • Hugs and kudos

Hot Air Balloon Retrospective Template

hot-air-balloon-template-image

What is a Sailboat Retrospective?

The sailboat retrospective is a great way to reflect on the goals of a sprint while keeping risks in mind. The retrospective uses a sailboat as a metaphor and is a great way of addressing issues relating to a specific goal. 

The sailboat retrospective focuses on three areas:

  • Wind
  • Anchors
  • Rocks

The neat thing about this format is that it can be used both as a retrospective or futurespective mindset.

In a retrospective format, the team thinks about their goal for the current sprint. They share things that slowed them down (anchors), sped them up (wind), and hazards or issues along the way (rocks). This gives them a shared experience that helps them tackle the next sprint with more confidence.

In a futurespective format, the goal of the next sprint is shared. Then the team brainstorms the potential anchors, wind and rocks that might come up. They can then create actions associated with this.

Why Do a Sailboat Retrospective?

A sailboat retrospective is a useful futurespective exercise. It is a simple technique that could be used by agile teams of all levels of experience. It helps teams shape next steps that leverage drivers (wind), reduce hindrances (anchors), and navigate around risks (rocks).

Using the sailboat metaphor helps the team tap into their creative side. It encourages them to view their context differently. In doing so, they are encouraged to come up with different solutions to address any challenges.

A team can use the sailboat retrospective to capture the broad range of factors affecting their success. Together, they can clearly define the next steps they agree to follow to reach their goal as quickly as possible.

Like our other retrospectives, it supports forward planning while learning from the past. Importantly, the sailboat retrospective helps you to identify risks so they can be avoided or addressed.

Sailboat Retrospective Template

sailboat-template-image

Who Should Use a Fun Retrospective?

Agile software development teams were the first to use retrospectives. However, with agile practices now used across a number of industries, the fun agile retrospectives can be applied to almost any undertaking.

Our fun agile retrospectives are broadly used brainstorming tools. They could be used to support a team’s regular review of – 

  • a project
  • a process
  • a program 

that they wish to improve.

As such, fun agile retrospectives could be used by:

  • Scrum Masters
  • Iteration Managers
  • Innovation Officers
  • Team Leaders
  • Program Coordinators

Anyone overseeing a team who is looking to support their continuous improvement would benefit from their use.

How to Run a Fun Agile Retrospective

To make your retrospective fun, introduce the change of the format with energy and a reason as to why you are using an alternative agile retrospective format.  Introducing a theme, adding some background music or images or other novelty can certainly add a new dimension and energy to the meeting.

Because it might be a change from the standard agile retrospective, it would be worth a quick explanation of the angle of the retrospective and the new format.

In the case of remote and distributed teams, it can be difficult to get everyone together in the same room at the same time. Delivering the retrospective online is the ideal way of engaging all team members. Screen sharing software, video conferencing, and online collaboration tools such as GroupMap allow facilitators to deliver inclusive retrospectives. 

How to Use a Fun Template to Run a Better Retrospective

Brainstorm

Discuss and populate each section of the agile retrospective template.

Group

Discuss and group any common themes.

Vote

Vote on the key ideas you wish to action.

Action Plan

Identify actions for each priority idea. Assign responsibility and timeframes to a group or individual.

Share

Share the outcomes of the session, including the action plan, to relevant stakeholders.

Cross Device Compatibility

Save effort, time and money with GroupMap

Whether you have your best minds together in the same room, or distributed around the world, GroupMap’s unique technology allows groups of up to 2000 to submit ideas independently at separate times, from different places, in different timezones. Prevent dominant personalities swaying the group, drowning out the opinions of others – GroupMap allows everyone to brainstorm independently then effortlessly combines that information to reveal the full spectrum of ideas. GroupMap templates keep the objective front and center throughout the session, keeping everyone on task. This ensures the activity identifies actionable issues rather than becoming just a discussion on ideas. GroupMap gives you all the group decision making tools you need to prioritize, decide and take action.

Create your first map and invite people in to start sharing their thoughts right NOW. Experience the power of GroupMap with our 14-day, no risk, FREE trial. You don’t even need to provide your credit card details to access to all of our features, including the entire suite of templates, for a full 14 days.

The ESVP Agile Retrospective Check In

GroupMap’s ESVP template. An easy and simple way to help set the stage for your retrospective or team meeting.

What is an ESVP? 

ESVP is an exercise created by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen. Its goal is to help set the stage for a retrospective.

The ESVP was designed to engage and focus on those involved in the retrospective. At the same time, it gained insight into the participants’ attitudes towards the agile retrospective meeting itself.

While it’s still a popular way to kick off a retrospective, ESVPs are now used more widely. They can be icebreakers used to warm up any type of meeting or collaborative session. They can also be used at any point during a session as a temperature check.

ESVP stands for ‘Explorers, Shoppers, Vacationers and Prisoners’. Participants are invited to indicate the persona with whom they most relate at that point in time.

An ESVP focuses on four areas:

  • Explorer – Will dive in and discover new things.
  • Shopper – Will see what can be procured.
  • Vacationer – Will relax and switch off.
  • Prisoner – Does not want to be there.

Terms that are used by some groups may not be used by others. That’s why all of GroupMap’s templates are customisable. You could, for example, change ‘Vacationer’ to ‘Observer’ if you feel that word better suits your group.

Why Do an ESVP?

Using an ESVP at the start of your meeting can give everyone insight into the current motivations of the group. This means you’ll get more out of your meeting because you can see the attitudes and expectations of the people there. An ESVP check in exercise helps to create tiny yet powerful threads of connection between meeting participants. These connections help sow the seeds of collaboration. 

Setting the stage with an ESVP can also help a facilitator gauge the attitudes of the people in the room. This lets the facilitator shape their next steps and helps everyone make the most of their meeting time.

You can use it to:

  • Softly launch your meeting
  • Easily gauge the ‘vibe’ of the group
  • Decide on how you want to approach the retrospective meeting

Who Should Use an ESVP?

The ESVP is an insightful tool and can be used by:

  • Scrum Masters
  • Iteration Managers
  • Coordinators
  • Team Leaders
  • Teachers
  • Trainers
  • Facilitators

In a nutshell, people who are working with groups in order to deliver outcomes would benefit from adding an EVSP to their toolkit.

Tips for an effective ESVP

ESVP Template

Explorer

Will dive in and discover new things.

  • Eager to examine possibilities
  • Positive attitude and high energy
  • Motivated by the chance to learn and open to where that may head

Shopper

Will see what can be procured.

  • Happy to consider the possibilities
  • Reasonably positive attitude and medium energy
  • Motivated by chance of finding something of benefit

Vacationer

Will relax and switch off.

  • Indifferent to possibilities
  • Passive attitude and low energy
  • Motivated by the chance to disengage

Prisoner

Will not want to be here.

  • Resistant to possibilities
  • Closed attitude and medium to high energy 
  • Motivated by the requirement to attend

How to Create an ESVP

Creating an ESVP is very straightforward. It simply presents people with four categories and asks them to pick one.

To start a face-to-face meeting, a flipchart or whiteboard divided into four zones could be used. People then place a post-it or mark an ‘X’ on the area they wish. To support anonymity, a post-it with an E, S, V, or P could be dropped into a hat with a facilitator recording the results for all to see.

A different approach is needed when it comes to remote and distributed teams. Getting everyone together in the same room at the same time may not be possible. So delivering the ESVP online is the ideal way of engaging all team members.

Screen sharing software, video conferencing, and online collaboration tools allow facilitators to deliver inclusive ESVPs. GroupMap’s ESVP template has been designed with this in mind. It can be used with any type of team (co-located, hybrid or remote). 

The time it takes to deliver an ESVP meeting will vary depending on the number of people in the session. With that said, it’s possible to deliver an ESVP online in less than five minutes. This includes sharing time.

GroupMap has included two steps in its ESVP template. The template is designed to allow participants a single anonymous response. 

How to Use an ESVP to Run Better Meetings

Brainstorm

Have individuals place an X on an area of the template.

Share

Share the responses to the exercise.

Cross Device Compatibility

Save effort, time and money with GroupMap

Whether you have your best minds together in the same room, or distributed around the world, GroupMap’s unique technology allows groups of up to 2000 to submit ideas independently at separate times, from different places, in different timezones. Prevent dominant personalities swaying the group, drowning out the opinions of others – GroupMap allows everyone to brainstorm independently then effortlessly combines that information to reveal the full spectrum of ideas. GroupMap templates keep the objective front and center throughout the session, keeping everyone on task. This ensures the activity identifies actionable issues rather than becoming just a discussion on ideas. GroupMap gives you all the group decision making tools you need to prioritize, decide and take action.

Create your first map and invite people in to start sharing their thoughts right NOW. Experience the power of GroupMap with our 14-day, no risk, FREE trial. You don’t even need to provide your credit card details to access to all of our features, including the entire suite of templates, for a full 14 days.

DAKI Retrospective

GroupMap’s DAKI agile retrospective. A creative and simple way of running easy and effective retrospective meetings with your team

What is a DAKI Retrospective?

The DAKI retrospective is short for the Drop Add Keep Remove retrospective. It helps a team reflect on the different processes they use in order to achieve their goal. They can assess the value of each process and take action to help them perform more effectively.

It’s a great tool to use later on in the project cycle. This way the team has the chance to view how each process has (or hasn’t) contributed to their progress to date.

The DAKI retrospective is really simple but  thorough. Some say it takes the start stop continue retrospective up a level. As well as identifying actions they feel they should drop, add and keep, the team has the chance to explore ways to improve processes.  

The DAKI retrospective is a great way of supercharging a high-functioning team.

GroupMap’s DAKI retrospective focuses on four areas:

  • Drop – these are the actions that aren’t delivering value.
  • Add– these are the things the team wishes to include
  • Keep – these are the actions that deliver value as they are
  • Improve – these are currently happening and could deliver greater value

Like all of GroupMap’s templates, the DAKI retrospective can be customized to make it your own. This means you could, for example, add other areas of focus such as ‘Hugs and kudos’’ to identify the achievements of individual team members.

Why do a DAKI  Retrospective?

Using a DAKI retrospective is great for all types of agile teams.

It’s a good tool to use to address retro-autopilot (when people give similar responses at each retrospective). It’s also great to use if your team feels they are in a rut. Using the DAKI will help shake things up and refocus the team.

The DAKI retrospective can also help the team recalibrate after a challenging sprint. It gives people the opportunity to drop the actions that made things difficult. The team, therefore, benefits from the lessons of the past.

A team can use the DAKI retrospective to clearly define the next steps they agree to follow to reach their goal as quickly as possible.

You can use it to:

  • Assess processes and identify and address any small problems so they don’t grow into big ones.
  • Provide an opportunity for all team members to be heard.
  • Come together as a team to connect, reflect and improve.
  • Give team members an opportunity to share their ideas
  • Leverage the knowledge and experience of the whole team to shape next steps.
  • Empower teams through collaboration to solve problems, build solutions and own the processes they design to deliver success.
  • Offer your team the chance to safely engage in healthy dissent with a view to building better solutions.

Who should use a DAKI Retrospective?

With agile practices now used across a number of industries, the DAKI retrospective could support teams of all types.

 DAKI retrospective could be used by:

  • Innovation Officers
  • Team Leaders
  • Program CoordinatorsAll project teams
  • Scrum Masters
  • Iteration Managers

It is a great tool to support a team’s continuous improvement.

Related templates

Tips for effective retrospectives

DAKI Retrospective Template

Drop

These things could be distracting or time-wasting. They do not bring value.

Question to ask:

  • What’s stopping you from focusing?
  • What makes your job difficult?
  • What takes up most of your time?

Add

New ideas and fresh innovations.

Questions to ask:

  • What has worked for other teams?
  • What haven’t we tried?
  • What would you love to try?

Keep

These things are going well and continue to support the team.

Question to ask:

  • What’s running as it should?
  • What can we rely on?
  • What’s delivering value?

Improve

These are current actions that need tweaks to be more effective.

Questions to ask:

  • What has even more potential?
  • What do we know could be better?
  • What can we refine?

How to Create a DAKI Retrospective

A DAKI retrospective is a chance for the team to reflect on how they spent their time and where they directed their energy. It helps them define issues that can be solved, and shape the next steps. It’s important to have all team members involved. 

In the case of remote and distributed teams, it can be difficult to get everyone together in the same room at the same time. Delivering the retrospective online is the ideal way of engaging all team members.

Screen sharing software, video conferencing, and online collaboration tools allow facilitators to deliver inclusive retrospectives. GroupMap’s anchors and engines retrospective has been designed with this in mind. It can be used with any type of team (co-located, hybrid or remote). So it’s a cost-effective way of delivering focused, effective retrospectives.

The time it takes to run a DAKI retrospective meeting will vary depending on the scope of the session. Setting and keeping to “timeboxes” for each stage can help streamline the process. Teams should be able to identify and prioritize issues and develop an action plan in less than 30 minutes.

GroupMap has included five key steps in its DAKI template. However, like all our templates, it can be customized to include additional process steps (such as rating) to support your group’s collaborative process.

How to Use a DAKI Template to Run a Better Retrospective

Brainstorm

Discuss and populate each section of the DAKI retrospective.

Group

Discuss and group any common ideas.

Prioritize

Vote on the key areas you need to take action on.

Action Plan

Identify actions for each priority idea. Assign responsibility and timeframes to a group or individual.

Share

Share the outcomes of the session, including the action plan, to relevant stakeholders.

Cross Device Compatibility

Save effort, time and money with GroupMap

Whether you have your best minds together in the same room, or distributed around the world, GroupMap’s unique technology allows groups of up to 2000 to submit ideas independently at separate times, from different places, in different timezones. Prevent dominant personalities swaying the group, drowning out the opinions of others – GroupMap allows everyone to brainstorm independently then effortlessly combines that information to reveal the full spectrum of ideas. GroupMap templates keep the objective front and center throughout the session, keeping everyone on task. This ensures the activity identifies actionable issues rather than becoming just a discussion on ideas. GroupMap gives you all the group decision making tools you need to prioritize, decide and take action.

Create your first map and invite people in to start sharing their thoughts right NOW. Experience the power of GroupMap with our 14-day, no risk, FREE trial. You don’t even need to provide your credit card details to access to all of our features, including the entire suite of templates, for a full 14 days.

SMART Goal Template

What are SMART Goals?

SMART goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Goal setting is well known to help teams deliver value. Goals help to equitably allocate tasks, track progress, manage time and focus effort. Defining meaningful goals, however, can sometimes be tricky.

Enter George Doran, the person credited with developing the SMART approach to goal setting. In his paper, “There’s a SMART Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives”, Doran presented an approach to help demystify the goal setting process and “write meaningful objectives”, and with it, SMART goals were born! SMART goals are a justifiably popular mechanism. They are an exceptional tool to help your team capture and articulate their vision and agree to the measurements of success. 

Your team can use a SMART framework anytime you want to set, review or refine your goals. And if you’re looking for a way to foster a sense of collaboration and empower your team with a shared purpose, defining SMART goals is a great way to do it.
Related templates
Meeting tips using the SMART Goals technique

Why Use SMART Goals?

When it comes to goal setting, a SMART framework will help your team cut to the chase! It will support and focus your team as they shape clear goals that are realistic, actionable and effective. Not only will a SMART framework help your team define their goals efficiently, it will capture those goals so they can be clearly, concisely, and easily shared with new team members and other stakeholders.

A SMART framework helps to confirm your goals – are worth delivering, can be tracked to demonstrate change, are correctly resourced, and are appropriately aligned.

A goal like Improving fitness is too general. A SMART goal would be to be able to run 10KMs in under an hour by July is far more meaningful and focussed.

When Should I Shape a SMART Goal?

All common types of goals can be improved when viewed through a SMART lens. Examples of common goals include:

  • Increasing or reducing something – Reduce the error rates of a production of product X by the next financial year by 5%.
  • Making or creating something – Introduce 3 working prototype variations by the next quarter for an innovative approach to wear and tear detection.
  • Refining, improving or developing something – Improve the yield rate by 0.5% through introduction of new pesticide routines.

Defining a goal to include key parameters, resources, timeframe and metrics, brings greater clarity to a shared team vision. So, whenever you shape a goal, make it a SMART!

SMART Goal Template Example

To get the most out of the SMART Goals template, first utilise a simple brainstorm to capture all the goals your team may wish to deliver, then review it to identify the goal you wish to expand into a SMART Goal.

When you’re working with a large or distributed team, getting everyone together at the same time can be difficult, inconvenient, and costly. Using different technologies like video conferencing, online forms, and collaborative brainstorming software such as GroupMap can help overcome these challenges. 

Objective: Define the clear objective your team wants to deliver 

Brainstorm: Gather inputs from each person 

Share and communicate: Confirm everyone’s understanding of the SMART GOAL

How to Use the SMART Goals Template to Run Better Meetings

Objective

Share the context for the SMART Goal

Brainstorm

Add ideas under each heading of the
SMART Goal Template

Share and Communicate

Confirm the results from the teams and get buy-in

Cross Device Compatibility

Save effort, time and money with GroupMap

Whether you have your best minds together in the same room, or distributed around the world, GroupMap’s unique technology allows groups of up to 2000 to submit ideas independently at separate times, from different places, in different timezones. Prevent dominant personalities swaying the group, drowning out the opinions of others – GroupMap allows everyone to brainstorm independently then effortlessly combines that information to reveal the full spectrum of ideas. GroupMap templates keep the objective front and center throughout the session, keeping everyone on task. This ensures the activity identifies actionable issues rather than becoming just a discussion on ideas. GroupMap gives you all the group decision making tools you need to prioritize, decide and take action.

Create your first map and invite people in to start sharing their thoughts right NOW. Experience the power of GroupMap with our 14-day, no risk, FREE trial. You don’t even need to provide your credit card details to access to all of our features, including the entire suite of templates, for a full 14 days.

DMAIC Analysis Template

What is a DMAIC Analysis Template?

This is a structured approach to solve problems using the roadmap to (D) Define, (M) Measure, (A) Analyze, (I) Improve and (C) Control a particular issue or problem. It was developed as part of the Six Sigma initiative as part of a quality improvement procedure. 

It can help create significant improvements by offering a more streamlined approach with a 5 step plan. It can be implemented as a standalone quality improvement procedure or part of the process improvement initiatives such as lean. 

The DMAIC Methodology aims to help teams improve by stepping through an iterative process that takes them through a problem definition phase all the way to being able to verify effectiveness of proposed solutions.

The 5 factors of DMAIC are as follows:

  • Define – This where the team starts by trying to develop a specific definition of the problem or goal. This helps to set the context for the team and to focus their attention to.

  • Measure – These are metrics that you can use to track or measure the problem. It could be a pareto chart based on error rates, hours of rework, throughput or creating a capability analysis.

  • Analyze – Now it’s time to get to the root cause of the issue and to look at potential causes of what might be creating the problem in the first place or is causing the problem to be repeated. The root causes can be listed and prioritised (e.g. through rating or dot voting) to pursue in the Improve step.

  • Improve – This is where the team looks at performance improvements that can address and eliminate root causes. This could be through the design of experiments that help to isolate a key factor or variable through to a skunkworks project through to an innovation process. The improvements should lead to positive changes in the items described in the measure step.

  • Control – These are actions and systems to ensure quality and sustainability of the improvements and to allow for adjustments over time.
Related templates

Tips for completing a DMAIC Analysis

  • Work through one column from left to right. Jumping ahead will defeat the purposes of the DMAIC flow.

  • Use prioritisation techniques such as voting to gain consensus from the team in each step.

  • Capturing comments is a great way to seek clarification, get more understanding and ensure buy in as you go through the problem solving steps.

  • It’s important to only focus on one key issue at a time per DMAIC. if there is a new issue that arises, then create a new DMAIC template and run that as a separate exercise.

Why should I use DMAIC?

The DMAIC problem-solving method provides a logical problem solving approach, but has a strong emphasis on data. It can drive accountability and measurable success not just by a good definition of the problem, but adds on the elements of how you can measure and therefore control errors in a sustainable way. This helps to build team accountability and also focus on what elements of the problem the team can change in order to address the root causes for the problem. 

One of the key features of this six sigma methodology approach is that it offers a logical approach to looking at an issue and can be run in it’s entirety for each problem or issue. This makes it suitable for teams that might be struggling with a current problem and not being able to see various solutions. All of this will help add value to the customer, reduce cycle time, help with employee motivation and also reduce error costs.

Who should use DMAIC?

  • Six Sigma Leaders and teams
  • Process improvement teams and coaches
  • Change managers and innovation teams
  • Project Managers

Example of a Six Sigma DMAIC Model Template

Having a simple template can be the canvas for your team to start improving process outputs and address any problems. You can start by sharing the process name, or overall goal as the main topic of your project. E.g. Error rates in production of good X. Then working through the DMAIC process, each person can share their ideas and thoughts collaboratively (or individually) based on their experience. It is usually advisable to step people through the template one column at a time, creating definition of one before moving to the other. Having a clear definition for example will then make the rest of the process more meaningful. 

The DMAIC template offers a high level question which can help the team get started but you can of course customise this to suit. By using the thumbs up and thumbs down voting as you go through the steps will allow you to build consensus along the way. The outputs of of one step, e.g. Define, feeds into the next Measure, and so on. By using the consensus building approach, you get an overall view and perspective of how you have addressed the problem, the root causes and how you would monitor and measure over time.

How to use the DMAIC Analysis template to run better meetings

Set the stage

Define the problem

Brainstorm

Share ideas in order of the DMAIC Process

Variations

Vary the headers for your team as needed

Cross Device Compatibility

Save effort, time and money with GroupMap

Whether you have your best minds together in the same room, or distributed around the world, GroupMap’s unique technology allows groups of up to 2000 to submit ideas independently at separate times, from different places, in different timezones. Prevent dominant personalities swaying the group, drowning out the opinions of others – GroupMap allows everyone to brainstorm independently then effortlessly combines that information to reveal the full spectrum of ideas. GroupMap templates keep the objective front and center throughout the session, keeping everyone on task. This ensures the activity identifies actionable issues rather than becoming just a discussion on ideas. GroupMap gives you all the group decision making tools you need to prioritize, decide and take action.

Create your first map and invite people in to start sharing their thoughts right NOW. Experience the power of GroupMap with our 14-day, no risk, FREE trial. You don’t even need to provide your credit card details to access to all of our features, including the entire suite of templates, for a full 14 days.

What, So What, What Now?

What So What What Now

What is a What, So What, What Now?

What? So What? Now What? is a reflective model that helps teams evaluate a shared experience or a recent event so that they can identify ways to improve or act. This critical thinking model was researched and  developed by Rolfe et al. in 2001. It is also attributed to Henri Lipmanowicz and Keith McCandless, the creators of Liberating Structures.

The What, So What, What Now exercise works on brainstorming and reflecting on:

  • Understanding the event (What?) 
  • Making sense of the facts and implications (So What?)
  • Identifying the course of action or new solutions (Now What?)

Why Do a What, So What, What Now?

This model can be used for a critical reflection session through a crisis management situation where you need to define and frame the problem, analyse the impact and then consider the possible actions to address the issue.

Related templates
Facilitation tips

Who Should Use this Technique?

This system is a reflective method that can be used by groups who would like to better understand problems and discover better solutions.

Examples include:

  • Crisis Management such as last minute cancellations due to a global pandemic or loss of venue booked.
  • Problem solving meetings where the delivery time has exceeded expectations.
  • Retrospective meetings to help teams work through continuous improvement issues.
  • Impact analysis meetings where a change of policy, an incident or event has repercussions on strategy, people or processes.
  • See last minute cancellations due to a global pandemic or loss of venue booked. 

Use the What, So What, What Now to help with:

  • resolving crisis and issues strategically; 
  • gaining new perspectives and understandings;
  • clarifying our assumptions and beliefs, and developing a clear rationale for our actions and approaches;
  • promoting a positive sense of self-awareness and self-confidence
  • taking informed action; and,
  • focusing on a philosophy of continuous growth and improvement.

What, So What, What Now Template

The What, So What, What Now template provides 3 separate columns and allows everyone in the team to collaboratively define the problem and share implications on the project or their work. The thumbs up and thumbs down feature lets you check for consensus along the way.Capture additional comments and move people from problem definition through to creating actions that address and overcome the issue.

How to Do a What, So What, What Now?

Tip To get the most from the What, So What, What Now technique, gather input from a range participants with different perspectives. When you’re working with a large or distributed team, getting everyone together at the same time can be difficult, inconvenient, and costly. Using different technologies like video conferencing, online forms, and collaborative brainstorming software such as GroupMap can help overcome these challenges.

Brainstorm

Gather the right people who have insights or are being impacted by the problem.

Like/Dislike

Vote on the best possible actions and the next steps, so that the items with the most votes can be decided as the right move to mitigate and/or address the issue at hand.

Results

Once the crisis has been mitigated, provide a report on how as a team you came together to decide on this course of action, that can be shared with team members and those on the executive levels.

Cross Device Compatibility

Save effort, time and money with GroupMap

Whether you have your best minds together in the same room, or distributed around the world, GroupMap’s unique technology allows groups of up to 2000 to submit ideas independently at separate times, from different places, in different timezones. Prevent dominant personalities swaying the group, drowning out the opinions of others – GroupMap allows everyone to brainstorm independently then effortlessly combines that information to reveal the full spectrum of ideas. GroupMap templates keep the objective front and center throughout the session, keeping everyone on task. This ensures the activity identifies actionable issues rather than becoming just a discussion on ideas. GroupMap gives you all the group decision making tools you need to prioritize, decide and take action.

Create your first map and invite people in to start sharing their thoughts right NOW. Experience the power of GroupMap with our 14-day, no risk, FREE trial. You don’t even need to provide your credit card details to access to all of our features, including the entire suite of templates, for a full 14 days.

Value Proposition Canvas

Value Proposition Canvas

What is the Value Proposition Canvas?

The Value Proposition Canvas is a tool developed by Dr Alexander Osterwalder to ensure there is a fit between a product and market by exploring the relationship between a Customer’s needs and the value proposition of the organization. 

This can be a new or an existing product or service, but aims to align what an organization delivers to reduce the pains and increase the gains for their target customer.

The Value Proposition Canvas has two building blocks – customer profile and an organisation’s value proposition. 

In the Customer Profile block, we look at the following elements: 

  • Gains – the benefits which the customer expects and needs and the things which may increase likelihood of adopting a value proposition.
  • Pains – the negative experiences, emotions and risks that the customer experiences in the process of getting the job done.
  • Customer jobs – the functional, social and emotional tasks customers are trying to perform, problems they are trying to solve, and needs they wish to satisfy.

A customer profile is created for each customer segment, as each segment has distinct gains, pains and jobs.

In the Value Map block, we look at the value proposition that an organization offers through its products and/or services, including: 

  • Gain creators – how the product or service creates customer gains and how it offers added value to the customer.
  • Pain relievers – a description of exactly how the product or service alleviates customer pains.
  • Products and services – the products and services which create gain and relieve pain, and which underpin the creation of value for the customer.

Why Do a Value Proposition Analysis?

The Value Proposition Canvas can help any business or organization to:

  • Define their customer profiles. By brainstorming and analyzing the Customer Profile block, companies can identify their customers’ major jobs-to-be-done, the pains they face when trying to accomplish their jobs-to-be-done, and the gains they perceive by getting their jobs done.
  • Visualize the value of the organizations’ product or service create. Define the most important components of your offering, how you relieve pain and create gains for your identified and targeted customers.
  • Achieve Product-Market fit. Adjust your Value Proposition based on the insights you gained from customer evidence and achieve Product-Market fit.
Related templates

References

 
Tips to start your Value Proposition Canvas

Who Should Use a Value Proposition Canvas?

The Value Proposition Canvas is a great tool for marketing experts, product owners, and value creators and their teams, who work to develop products and services to a targeted audience. It is also valuable for any teams and organizations who are trying to understand how customers make decisions and what offers to create that they will find appealing.

When Should I Complete a Value Proposition Canvas?

  • Understanding who your customers are, including what their lifestyles and real needs are to help create relevant products and services.
  • Develop value propositions for your products and services for effective communications and marketing to your identified customers.
  • Increasing the sales and profitability of your products and services.
  • Reducing time wasted on developing ideas that customers may not be interested in.
  • Improving or innovating new products or services.

The Right Way to use the Value Proposition Canvas

The value proposition template is essentially made up of 2 blocks with one being what the customer segment is and how we might best service their needs. You start by completing the various aspects of the canvas and then look for gaps and alignment to validate that what you are able or can deliver meets the needs of the customer.

While the canvas itself depicts the customer profile on the right and the natural inclination is for you to start with the goods and services of the business first, it is actually more important to firstly identify what your customer needs and expectations are. This way you are focussing on the needs of your customers and ensuring that the elements that you can control (what your product or services actually deliver) can be refined to ensure that there is alignment.

The next step is to then identify gaps and check that there is alignment between the 2 areas. This allows you to then create experiments, ask more questions or create action items that will help you move towards delighting the customer and growing your business. A really easy way is to have the team vote for the areas that need the most discussion.

Customer Profile

This section looks at what jobs or goals the specific customer has and what are their positive and negative states that they experience.

Start here.

Focus on just one segment at a time so that you do not confuse or have mixed messages in your planning process when completing the lean canvas.

Segments could be by age, social status, interest or psychographic.

By only having a single focus on the segment, it makes it easier to identify the highest priority jobs, pains and gains related to that segment. This helps you understand customer preferences, biases and thoughts.

The size of the segment can be refined if you are finding that it is too broad or too large and it starts to feel generic. For example, all people between 8 and 18 who use sunscreen is more specific than the Youth Market for sunscreen. 

Value Proposition

This section is about what products and services are targeted at the segment and the key benefits provided when the customer buys from us.

 

Align here.

This is where you might list the actual or proposed services or goods that you might use to service the customer segment.

The goal here is not to simply list everything that you may do, but to highlight the key ones that are servicing that customer’s need.

For example, Sunscreen targeted at the ages 8 to 18 may be an aesthetic brand which has a shorter application time frame but higher SPF rating that matches their behaviour but might not include higher priced brands that have skin moisturising and anti-wrinkle qualities.

A well-suited message then connects the consumers mind to your brand or product if the value proposition is clear and meets their specific needs. 

How to Complete a Value Proposition Canvas

Start a Value Proposition for a product or service by filling out the template and then where there are gaps. You can use the gaps as validation to run more experiments, ask more questions, try out new ideas. By understanding your customers’ preferences, biases and thoughts, you’ll find new ways to delight them and grow your business.

Brainstorm

Brainstorm ideas for each area of the Value Proposition canvas.

Group

Review responses, and collate ideas.

Vote

Rate the ideas according to likely impact on the organization.

Share

Share the outcomes of the session to relevant stakeholders.

Cross Device Compatibility

Save effort, time and money with GroupMap

Whether you have your best minds together in the same room, or distributed around the world, GroupMap’s unique technology allows groups of up to 2000 to submit ideas independently at separate times, from different places, in different timezones. Prevent dominant personalities swaying the group, drowning out the opinions of others – GroupMap allows everyone to brainstorm independently then effortlessly combines that information to reveal the full spectrum of ideas. GroupMap templates keep the objective front and center throughout the session, keeping everyone on task. This ensures the activity identifies actionable issues rather than becoming just a discussion on ideas. GroupMap gives you all the group decision making tools you need to prioritize, decide and take action.

Create your first map and invite people in to start sharing their thoughts right NOW. Experience the power of GroupMap with our 14-day, no risk, FREE trial. You don’t even need to provide your credit card details to access to all of our features, including the entire suite of templates, for a full 14 days.

Force Field Analysis

Force Field Analysis

What is a Force Field Analysis?

Force Field Analysis is a tool that helps a change practitioner to visually map and analyze the driving and resisting forces behind a project, a decision or initiative. A Force Field Analysis does this identifying two forces that are arranged as opposing forces or as a “force field.” These two forces are driving forces (those that are working in the direction of the change) and resisting and/or restraining forces (those that tend to support the status quo).

Force Field Analysis is a powerful decision-making tool that was originally developed by Kurt Lewin in 1951. Today, the Force Field Analysis model is still used by many organizations for supporting change processes. 

The idea behind Force Field Analysis is that situations are maintained by an equilibrium between forces that drive change and others that resist change. So, for change to happen, the driving forces must be strengthened or the resisting forces weakened.

A Force Field Analysis template in GroupMap helps you to visually map and brainstorm, in real time, the driving and resisting forces around decisions to be made. 

Why do a Force Field Analysis?

When you are making difficult or challenging decisions, using an effective and structured decision-making technique such as the Force Field Analysis can help to improve the quality of your decisions and increase your chances of success.

Conducting a Force Field Analysis will help you to see the bigger picture, to identify and overcome obstacles and to develop a plan which will significantly increase the likelihood of a successful outcome.

Related templates
Facilitation tips
References
  • Lewin, Kurt. 1946. “Force Field Analysis.” The 1973 Annual Handbook for Group Facilitators. 111-13.
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Force-field_analysis

Who Can Use a Force Field Analysis?

Anyone involved in the change implementation process or need to diagnose problems can use the Force Field Analysis. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Human Resources
  • C level suites / executives
  • Teams, departments, sections that are focused on change management
  • Change management consultants 

Use the Force Field Analysis model to help with:

  • Analyzing the balance of power
  • Identifying the key roles involved in decision-making 
  • Identifying who supports and opposes change within the organization
  • Exploring ways to influence those who are against change  
  • Deciding whether to go ahead with a proposed change or not

Force Field Analysis Template

A Force Field Analysis Template  provides a visual representation of the driving forces and restraining forces for and against an initiative, a project or change proposal. 

Common dimensions used for a Force Field Analysis map include:

Driving Forces

What are the creators of change or factors that are driving change to happen or be considered

Examples can include:

Competitive advantage, need for increased productivity, overwhelming customer request, new technologies, internal team requests, new trade or commercial restrictions and requirements, to achieve funding grants & initiatives, etc.

Questions to ask:

  • Why do we need to make these changes?
  • Who is requesting for this change and why?

Restraining Forces

What are the obstacles for change or opposition that is expected to prevent change from happening.

Examples include:

Associated costs for change, opposition from some team members, potential unhappy customers and lost loyalty and revenue, available resources to manage change, time available to make the change/s on time, etc.

Questions to ask:

  • What factors will affect us moving forward?
  • Who will oppose us moving forward or making changes?

The resulting brainstorm allows for scoring to understand how important the forces are and how to address them in a further action plan or SWOT analysis.

How to Do a Force Field Analysis

Assemble a small group – between 5 – 9 people – who are directly involved in the change implementation process. 

There are six general steps to completing a Force Field Analysis and the time taken will depend on the organization, the complexity of the forces, the number of people involved, amongst other things.

Tip At the end of the analysis, it is expected that an action plan will be available or is on the list to be developed to progress change for a project or initiative in a successful manner.

Scope

Assess the current situation of the organization in terms of the issue at hand.

Define

Identify what objectives the team would like to gain from conducting this analysis.

Brainstorm

Together with your group, discuss and list all of the driving and restraining forces.

Score

Evaluate the influence of each force by assigning them scores on a matrix that determines their importance.

Report

Report on the outcomes and share the results of the analysis with the rest of the team or company for good communications.

Cross Device Compatibility

Save effort, time and money with GroupMap

Whether you have your best minds together in the same room, or distributed around the world, GroupMap’s unique technology allows groups of up to 2000 to submit ideas independently at separate times, from different places, in different timezones. Prevent dominant personalities swaying the group, drowning out the opinions of others – GroupMap allows everyone to brainstorm independently then effortlessly combines that information to reveal the full spectrum of ideas. GroupMap templates keep the objective front and center throughout the session, keeping everyone on task. This ensures the activity identifies actionable issues rather than becoming just a discussion on ideas. GroupMap gives you all the group decision making tools you need to prioritize, decide and take action.

Create your first map and invite people in to start sharing their thoughts right NOW. Experience the power of GroupMap with our 14-day, no risk, FREE trial. You don’t even need to provide your credit card details to access to all of our features, including the entire suite of templates, for a full 14 days.

Start Stop Retrospective

Start Stop Retrospective

What is a Start Stop Retrospective?

A start stop retrospective is a simple and effective way for teams to reflect on their recent experiences and decide on what things they should change as they move forward.
  • Start – activities are those things the team will begin doing in the next cycle.
  • Stop – looks back at the previous cycle of the project to identify which things didn’t work and should cease.

Why Do a Start Stop Retrospective?

The start stop retrospective is one of the simplest project review techniques and requires no special equipment or knowledge to complete.

This technique starts by identifying actions that team members think they should “do” rather than “ideas and issues” that require solutions and then the development of an action plan as with Agile and 4Ls Retrospectives.

This retrospective technique:

  • Gives teams an opportunity to review how they are going and identify improvements they can implement in the future.
  • Makes it easier for teams to clarify issues, weight the impact of ideas, and reach a consensus based on shared priorities.
  • Is very action orientated and provides momentum and energy for the team. Each item on the list results in behavioral change.
  • Empowers teams to continuously improve the way they work.
Tips

Who Should Do a Start Stop Retrospective?

Because of it’s simplicity this retrospective method is suitable for:

  • All kinds of project teams including software development
  • Program reviews
  • Executive reviews
  • Personal performance evaluations
  • 4Ls retrospective
  • Agile retrospective
  • Starfish retrospective
  • Anchors and engines
  • DAKI retrospective

Start Stop Retrospective Template

Start

Activities that may:

  • improve processes
  • reduce waste
  • have a positive impact on the way the team operates

As with “stop” activities, consider both technical and behavioral aspects.

Stop

Activities that:

  • are inefficient
  • waste time or resources
  • have a negative impact on the way people feel or the way things work

Activities on this list may be technical or behavioral things and should cease.

How to Run a Start Stop Retrospective

A start stop retrospective is one of the simplest review tools. It require no specialized equipment or skills, other than the ability to facilitate group discussions.

If the review team is scattered over different locations, there are challenges ensuring everyone is involved, and facilitators may need to look beyond the usual sticky notes and whiteboards to video conferencing, web-based applications such as Google docs, and specialized online collaboration tools such as GroupMap.

Most start stop retrospectives will take less than 20 minutes. You can time-box stages of the process to keep the team on track.

Brainstorm

Discuss and populate the two columns of the start stop retrospective template.

Group

Discuss and group any common themes.

Vote

Vote on the key areas you need to take action on.

Share

Share and communicate the outcomes of the session to relevant stakeholders.

Cross Device Compatibility

Save effort, time and money with GroupMap

Whether you have your best minds together in the same room, or distributed around the world, GroupMap’s unique technology allows groups of up to 2000 to submit ideas independently at separate times, from different places, in different timezones. Prevent dominant personalities swaying the group, drowning out the opinions of others – GroupMap allows everyone to brainstorm independently then effortlessly combines that information to reveal the full spectrum of ideas. GroupMap templates keep the objective front and center throughout the session, keeping everyone on task. This ensures the activity identifies actionable issues rather than becoming just a discussion on ideas. GroupMap gives you all the group decision making tools you need to prioritize, decide and take action.

Create your first map and invite people in to start sharing their thoughts right NOW. Experience the power of GroupMap with our 14-day, no risk, FREE trial. You don’t even need to provide your credit card details to access to all of our features, including the entire suite of templates, for a full 14 days.

Start Stop Continue Retrospective

Start Stop Continue Retrospective

What is a Start Stop Continue Retrospective?

A start stop continue retrospective is a simple and effective way for teams to reflect on their recent experiences and decide on what things they should change as they move forward.
  • Start – activities are those things the team will begin doing in the next cycle.
  • Stop – looks back at the previous cycle of the project to identify which things didn’t work and should cease.
  • Continue – identifies things that worked in the previous cycle and need to be part of the team’s core activities.

Why Do a Start Stop Continue Retrospective?

The start stop continue retrospective is one of the simplest project review techniques and requires no special equipment or knowledge to complete.

This technique starts by identifying actions that team members think they should “do.” The method differs from Agile and 4Ls Retrospectives which develop ideas and issues requiring solutions first and THEN develop an action plan.

This retrospective technique:

  • Gives teams an opportunity to review how they are going and identify improvements they can implement in the future.
  • Makes it easier for teams to clarify issues, weight the impact of ideas, and reach a consensus based on shared priorities.
  • Is very action orientated and provides momentum and energy for the team. Each item on the list results in behavioral change.
  • Empowers teams to continuously improve the way they work.

Who Should Do a Start Stop Continue Retrospective?

Because of it’s simplicity this retrospective method is suitable for:

  • All kinds of project teams including software development
  • Program reviews
  • Executive reviews
  • Personal performance evaluations
Related templates
Facilitation tips

Start Stop Continue Retrospective Template

Start

Activities that may:

  • improve processes
  • reduce waste
  • have a positive impact on the way the team operates

As with “stop” activities, consider both technical and behavioral aspects. If they work they can go onto the continue list in the next review.

Stop

Activities that:

  • are inefficient
  • waste time or resources
  • have a negative impact on the way people feel or the way things work

Activities on this list may be technical or behavioral things and should cease.

Continue

Activities the team has tried and were successful but are not yet part of common practice.

Once the activities are part of the way things are done, add them to procedure manuals and checklists and remove from this list.

How to Run a Start Stop Continue Retrospective

A start stop continue retrospective is one of the simplest review tools. It require no specialized equipment or skills, other than the ability to facilitate group discussions.

If the review team is scattered over different locations, there are challenges ensuring everyone is involved. Facilitators may need to look beyond the usual sticky notes and whiteboards to video conferencing, web-based applications such as Google Docs, and specialized online collaboration tools such as GroupMap.

Most start stop continue retrospectives will take less than 20 minutes. You can time-box stages of the process to keep the team on track.

Brainstorm

Discuss and populate the three columns of the start stop continue retrospective template.

Group

Discuss and group any common themes.

Vote

Vote on the key areas you need to take action on.

Share

Share and communicate the outcomes of the session to relevant stakeholders.

Cross Device Compatibility

Save effort, time and money with GroupMap

Whether you have your best minds together in the same room, or distributed around the world, GroupMap’s unique technology allows groups of up to 2000 to submit ideas independently at separate times, from different places, in different timezones. Prevent dominant personalities swaying the group, drowning out the opinions of others – GroupMap allows everyone to brainstorm independently then effortlessly combines that information to reveal the full spectrum of ideas. GroupMap templates keep the objective front and center throughout the session, keeping everyone on task. This ensures the activity identifies actionable issues rather than becoming just a discussion on ideas. GroupMap gives you all the group decision making tools you need to prioritize, decide and take action.

Create your first map and invite people in to start sharing their thoughts right NOW. Experience the power of GroupMap with our 14-day, no risk, FREE trial. You don’t even need to provide your credit card details to access to all of our features, including the entire suite of templates, for a full 14 days.