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  • Writer's pictureTara Annison

The Journey of Discovery to the Lost Isle of [....]


This is a useful retro format as both a futurespective and a retrospective after a project/goal. It is a longer length format so ensure to leave sufficient time to work through all the sections.


Instructions for running successfully

  • Name your story with a particular project or goal that the team is working on

  • Set the scene with a story e.g something like "Long ago when the seas were unsailed and the lands that they surrounded were undiscovered, a group of explorers set off in their rickety wooden boat on voyage to find a hidden world - The Lost Isle of [....]. This mysterious island held promise of treasures untold, but despite efforts of many brave heroes, had remained uncharted. Until our valiant group of explorers discovered a map - a scroll which would guide them to the island and in search of the bounty. But what hardships will the group face, what adversity will they overcome, and will they return to their lands with riches and jewels or the tales of a quest unfulfilled…."

  • There are four components of the story you'll be exploring in the retro:

    • The Group of Explorers Our brave characters on this journey

    • The Treasure What they were on this quest to find

    • The Perils The challenges they have faced throughout

    • The Story Round the Campfire The tales the explorers told on their return

  • First ask the group to describe the group of explorers (them and the other stakeholders involved) Guidance points: try to think about;

    • Why are they on this journey? (Why do they need/want to use from the goal/project?)

    • What they will do with the treasure if they find it? (What does success look like for them on the project/goal?)

    • Are they the lead explorer, being dragged along, carrying all the equipment? (Are they a user, a developer, a product owner, a sales person?)

  • Then ask the group to describe the treasure (the end goal of the voyage and what our group of explorers are looking to achieve) Guidance points: try to think about;

    • Is this treasure different for the different explorers?

    • Will the expectation about the treasure change?

    • Is there some treasure they don’t need/want?

    • Do they have an MVT? (minimal viable treasure?)

  • Then ask the group to think about the perils they might/have faced on the journey. Guidance points: try to think about;

    • How did this impact the journey?

    • Could we have seen this peril coming?

    • What did we do to overcome it?

    • Have we encountered it before or since?

    • What did we learn from it?

  • Finally ask each person to give a <1m summary - a camp story they would tell around the fire on their return. Guidance points: try to think about;

    • Did you find the treasure in the end and was it everything you hoped it to be? (Does the product work and in the way you hope?)

    • Did you return back empty-handed with battle scars? (Do you count the product to be unsuccessful?)

    • What tips would you give to the next budding group of explorers? (What key things have you learnt along the way?)

    • What monster was the worst you encountered/most iconic you beat?

You should take notes throughout and chase up actions as needed.



















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