The Po’s Nightmare : A distributed Retro

Written by , in category Agile & Scrum

13 September 2017

Do you follow a PO that takes on a lot of responsibilities and can get all the help he can get from the team? Why not put him in the center of your next reflection? The steps presented here are ideally suited to having distributed team reflect on his role and suggest ways to improve.

Object of Play

Finding out new insights and points to improve by putting the nightmares of the PO in the center of your reflection and look at his/her situation when looking for action points to improve.

Number of people

Small groups, as results are shared at the end of the game.


30’ to 1 hour depending on the group size


Skype for business / Google hangouts or other multi user video conference tool : an online postit board, can be used freely (with ads)


Create a linoid board with an image like this

If possible add the PO’s name under the bed.
You may need to test the size of the image so Its large enough to receive the linoid stickies


Explain the game is about finding ways to help the PO. Give some examples to indicate where thinking should go like in the different parts :
What keeps him awake:
•    “Multiple roles and responsibilities .. but enough leverage to change ?”
•     “hoping the test sites are working again for the next day’s demo”
•    “A wooded hut in the environment is the good performance of the solution in the test environment, but we should test more with simultaneous users”

Opening Stage 10’

Ask everyone to add stickies to the different areas
The more they are in the middle, the more it affects the PO

Exploration Stage 20’

Ask team members to form teams of two. If the teams are from different areas, have teams with one of each area.
Ask each team to select a sticky of their choice and
•    Add their names on the stickie and elaborate on a possible solution
•    Have a separate skype meeting between the two of them, discussing the sticky and trying to find possible steps/ideas/insights about the problem.
Tell them they can take additional stickies if they have enough time.
Give them a precise time to return to rejoin the main skype session.

Closing Stage

Have each team present their stickies and possible ideas in turn.  Try to limit each team to 5 minutes while collecting ideas and possible follow up.

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