What is the Three Little Pigs' Retrospective?
Inspired by the famous fable The Three Little Pigs, the Three Little Pigs' Retrospective is a fun but very efficient activity, ideal for assessing how an Agile team is making progress together. Each house is related to one question for which participants have to jot down answers:
- House of straw: What do we do that just about hangs together but could topple over at any minute?
- House of wood: What do we do that is pretty solid but could be improved?
- House of bricks: What do we do that is rock solid?
How to run this retrospective
This workshop takes place in 4 or 5 steps, depending on your team experience with the Three Little Pigs' Retrospective.
Step 0: If participants have never heard about this retrospective, the facilitator introduces the activity by presenting its various stages and its expected outcome. There are standard rules always helpful to remind:
- Only one idea per sticky-note;
- Total freedom for selecting columns and in the number of sticky-notes (from 0 to n).
Step 1: For 5 minutes, participants write down their answers on sticky-notes. Then, they place them on the corresponding column.
Step 2: The facilitator reads each sticky-note and, in case one idea is ambiguous, asks the participant to explain what he has in mind. To prepare for the next step of the retrospective, the facilitator can take a little time to rephrase some answers and gather answers that deal with the same topic.
Step 3: During another 5-minute interval, participants think about improvement ideas and write them down on sticky-notes. This stage can be conducted either in group or solo.
Step 4: To identify the three most relevant improvement ideas, participants prioritize them with dot voting. If you want to consider both business value and task complexity, you can use a prioritization matrix instead. Once the main initiatives have been selected, a team member is assigned for the accountability of the task completion.