In one of my teams, we recently had a change of members. Some members have worked together, some don’t know each other. In these cases, I always find that it is a good idea to host the first retrospective with the team in a team-building retrospective format.

Format

If you are working in a team, you might get to know each other well related to work. You know a person’s preferences to tools, languages, testing, etc. Since we are all still working remotely getting to know the person behind the developer can be a bit more challenging. Therefore this team-building retrospective comes into action!

Create four columns on a whiteboard or any digital retrospective tool like Miro or Retrium. After that, the goal is to have all team members put at least one post-it in each column. Get everyone to think about their favourite foods, music, movies and series, and hobbies. To not spoil the next part of the retrospective, place all post-its anonymously on the board.

This team-building retrospective was hosted in Retrium.

When all post-its are on the board, the goal is to guess who has placed that post-it. Get the conversation going and try to have some fun. If a team member is telling about his hobby or favourite album ask for a bit of a backstory.

This team-building retrospective is extra fun if you have a distributed team across several countries. I learned about a few Indian dishes I have never heard about. The next time I go to an Indian restaurant I have some new dishes to try out.

Conclusion

I noticed this retrospective is great to get to know each other better outside of work. As a result, we had a couple of team members that found out they both play the same sport and were discussing gear they have. Same for photography, and people were sharing songs and artists outside of the team-building retrospective when they found out they had similar tastes in music.

If you are interested in more retrospective formats, I recommend you check the retrospective category. It contains all blog posts that are related to retrospectives, and you might find something you like!