Ignite great team discussions with “Jimmy Cards”

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Would you like to try out a tool that has the power to ignite exciting discussions that challenges the team and that possibly inspires to new improvement actions? Then you should try out the “Jimmy Cards”.

So, what is “Jimmy Cards”? Simply put it, it’s a deck of challenging questions and riddles for the agile team.

When to use them?

You can use the deck of questions any way you want. When I wrote them I imagined a team using them as ice-breaker for the retrospective or as a way to have focused discussion topics for the teams recurring Wednesday coffee break.

How to use them?

One way of using them goes like this. Shuffle the cards. Draw a card. Read the question out loud. Pause for a couple of seconds to give everyone a chance to think. Take turns answering the question. While you are listening to other peoples answers, note down your follow-up questions, thoughts and reflections.

The deck contains 51 questions. There are no right or wrong answers, instead the questions are designed to inspire discussions within the team.

How they came about…

I got the idea when standing bored and alone at the Crisp stand at a conference. I quickly wrote down a couple of questions. Then it lay dormant for a couple of weeks until I participated at a conference with the coaches at Spotify. For some reason we started talking games and how to use games to inspire teams to improve. With new found energy I had a first MVP two days later consisting of a handwritten deck of index cards (see below). That deck has now been used by a couple of teams as ice-breakers for their retrospective. Immediate success! Some teams didn’t want to stop. That inspired me even more to create a nicer deck. Some PowerPointing later you can see the result above.

The other day I even got a chance to show them to Jeff Sutherland. Some of the questions even got him thinking. Could not wished for better feedback.

The goal is to have an actual real printed nice deck that we at Crisp can distribute like we are distributing the Poker Planning cards.

The first handwritten MVP of the deck

More information?

Click here to read more about the Jimmy Cards.

Want your own deck?

If you would like to get hands on your on deck of “Jimmy Cards”, this is the button to press:

18 Comments

  • 1
    2013-03-24 - 22:04 | Permalink

    I will try these on Wednesday!

  • 2
    2013-03-24 - 22:23 | Permalink

    I’m convinced they will be a succes. They have the power to change! I’m glad to work with such a bright guy as your self Jimmy 🙂

  • 4
    2013-03-30 - 14:13 | Permalink

    […] Retrospective using Jimmy Cards Subscribe to Per's RSS feed Posted on March 30, 2013 by Per Lundholm I had taken on to facilitate a retrospective for my colleagues’ team. They wanted a different retrospective than the usual. So we borrowed Crisp’s office and used Jimmy Cards! […]

  • 5
    Manuel Palacio (@manuel_palacio)
    2013-04-11 - 09:20 | Permalink

    This reminded me of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oblique_Strategies a bit 😉

  • 6
    2013-04-11 - 19:29 | Permalink

    Thanks for the link Manuel! The questions in the deck aren’t quite constructed in the same way, but this got my head spinning 🙂 I feel that there will be more decks “Jimmy Cards” in the future…

  • 7
    Annika Elovsson
    2013-08-30 - 13:17 | Permalink

    Hi Jimmy!
    I got a deck of cards at a CSM course this week and will try them out this afternoon with my team!

  • 9
    Rickard Westman
    2013-10-04 - 15:55 | Permalink

    Borrowed a deck from Kenneth here at Aftonbladet, will use it in a workshop in Krakow next week. I’ll let you know how it worked out!

  • 11
    Amanda Johansson
    2013-10-07 - 15:49 | Permalink

    Nu har även jag testat korten 🙂
    Mitt scrum team var rätt överrens om att våra retrospektiv började kännas monotona och inte tillförde lika mycket länge så att använda korten på ett retro kändes givet.

    Vi gjorde så att en person i teamet drog ett kort och sedan diskuterade vi runt ämnet.

    + vi fick en hel del intressanta diskussioner
    + några konkreta action points på vad vi ska göra bättre

    Övelag var teamet positiva och det var helt klart ett givande avbrott från den vanliga rutinen.

    Den här gången använde vi hela timmen till diskussioner, ska vi göra det igenom kommer vi däremot att bryta efter 45 minuter och ha ett “mini retro” med vad som hänt under just den sprinten då alla diskussioner blev mera övergripande och inte fokuserade på de senaste två veckorna som vi är vana vid.

    • 12
      2013-10-15 - 13:01 | Permalink

      Spännande att höra hur ni använde dem och att de triggade bra diskussioner 🙂
      /Jimmy

  • 13
    Helen S
    2013-10-15 - 12:24 | Permalink

    Used the cards today for the first time in our fairly new team. We got some really interesting discussions and a few laughs too. Thanks Jimmy! Will use them again!

  • 15
    2013-12-18 - 11:02 | Permalink

    Det var jättespännande att läsa dina kort med kraftfulla frågor förra veckan. Kan man få beställa några kortlekar av dig?

    Love Jimmy Cards!

    //Bengt

    • 16
      2014-01-09 - 23:23 | Permalink

      Jag tar med mig några lekar när jag kommer över till er för att hämta pärlsvampen 🙂
      /Jimmy

  • 17
    Megan
    2014-11-03 - 04:17 | Permalink

    Hi there, we purchased a pack of Jimmy cards a month or so back and have really been enjoying using them. I was wondering if you may have any ideas on how we could use them as a lighter ‘ice-breaker’ type of activity? I find at the moment when using these as a ‘ice-breaker’ the conversation can quickly turn very deep and directional rather than just getting ideas thrown around and enabling everyone to speak. Any ideas or experiments you could suggest I would greatly appreciate! Thanks once again for creating a great product! Kind regards, Megan.

  • 18
    2015-08-16 - 21:00 | Permalink

    […] Although I prefer reading in my kindle, I always have a physical book with me as backup. – Jimmy  Cards, to use with teams or individuals. – a device to do digital banking. (For when I need to make […]

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