Retrospective using Jimmy Cards

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!

The group was around 15 persons from two teams. They all knew each other well which I believe is crucial as the questions on the cards can be challenging.

In this post I’ll give you the recipe which Jimmy and I came up with for this particular retrospective.

Divide the participants in groups of size about 5 persons. Each group sits together at a table. I like to name groups after Formula 1 teams, but that is not essential. 🙂

The retrospective has two phases:

  1. Throwing questions at each other and coming up with improvement themes.
  2. Discussing selected themes, current situation and definition of awesome.

Give each group a number of cards to choose from. This day, I gave them 7 each.

The first phase has several rounds where one round is like this:

  1. A group selects a card with a question they like to hear the answer to.
  2. The group selects another group that are asked the question.
  3. The group that got the question tries to come up with as many answers as possible. They are discussing out loud and the other groups are expected to listen carefully.
  4. All groups now writes down a theme of improvement. Here it is important to facilitate as it is easy to start discussing the theme instead of getting it on paper.
  5. The groups presents their themes and sticks them on the wall.

New round. You can do as many as you please. Each round will give you as many themes as there are groups. In this case, we used 3 rounds for 3 groups, giving 10 themes (a bonus theme as well).

Enter the second phase. First the participants vote on the themes and the winners are picked out. We had three themes that stood out in popularity so it was natural to pick the top three.

Now, the themes are given a table each (or spot in the room) and the participants are asked to self-organise from the constraints so that there will be:

  1. Enough people at each theme.
  2. Mixed opinions at each theme.

Each theme is discussed and the answers to the following is sought:
1. Where are we now?
2. What is the definition of awesome for this? Here we wish to stretch our mind to something that might not even be possible.
3. What would be 5 examples of concrete steps that we could do now, that would head in the direction of awesome?

Round off with presentations.

The feedback from this occasion were very positive, “the best retrospective in years”.

Retrospective is the only meeting that you can’t skip, as I have said before so take care of it.

7 responses on “Retrospective using Jimmy Cards

  1. Hi there, our Jimmy cards were delivered today just in time for our retrospective. Even though I had already planned the retro I thought lets use these instead. We are agile enough to adapt.
    It worked very well probably because the team is very open to try new ideas.
    I mentioned that we are the first in South Africa using the Jimmy cards, I hope this was not a lie. LOL! Anyways just to give some feedback that the Jimmy cards worked well and would recommend other teams to try it as well.


  2. Hi all,

    where I can get these Jimmy cards? I would like to try them out as my former colleague also brought them up and used them in her team.


  3. I have seen that you also have a series of Test in Cards (process edition?),
    Is there a way to get these in soft-copy format?
    to just read it on spare time or use excel randomization to shuffle?

    Kobi Halperin – @halperinko

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