Retropoly is a game to be played during retrospective meetings of Agile teams. It is based on the Monopoly game concept. It is mainly designed for Scrum teams, but it is suitable with minor adjustments for any other Agile methodology. The game is basically a fun, yet practical, tool to apply the twelfth principle of Agile manifesto:
At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective,
then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.
Who can play it
Retropoly can be played by any Agile team with at least 5 members. Below this size of the team it is still possible to play the game, but the fun of it is partly lost due to the low number of Retrospective Cards.
There are three roles in this game: the Game Master, the Player and the Debate Facilitator.
The Game Master is a role played usually played by the Scrum Master / Retrospective Facilitator who organizes the game and serves as a referee. He/she is also representing the Bank.
The Player is also a role played by all the members of the team. On team request, relevant external persons might be invited to play the game.
The Debate Facilitator is a role which is played by one of the players. The Debate Facilitator acts as a moderator of the debates during one round of discussions. The Players are taking turns to play this role.
Why playing it
Because it allows the team to thoroughly go through all the aspects of a retrospective. The ceremony will run smoothly and its objectives will be easy to achieve, if everybody is following the game rules.
Because it allows the leaders that works with the team to conduct a meaningful team coaching. It will encourage an honest self-assessment of each member of the team and the positive feedback for the support provided by colleagues. It will improve the ability of the team to take common decisions in a timely manner and the practice of moderated debates.
Because it strengthen the team relationships by getting to know each other through sharing of personal life aspects, like hobbies and passions.
Because it allows to observe how retrospectives are improving over the time.
And last, but not least, because it is fun.
What do you need
- A room with at least one table and chairs for all participants
- A Retropoly board*
- One pawn and one dice
- A set of Stage Cards*
- A set of Challenge Cards (plus a printed document with the correct answers)*
- Some paper notes to create the Retrospective Cards (not sticky, size of a business card, preferably 3 different colors)
- Poker chips (15 of 5€, 15 of 10€, 10 of 25€ and 10 of 50€ for each player)
- Monopoly money for the Bank (10 bills of 200€ and 10 bills of 500€)
- A score sheet*
- Some flipchart sheets on a wall
- Some paper-based adhesive tape
- A scissor
* These items can be downloaded from our site, the rest you need to procure it by yourself.
There is no copyright protection for Retropoly game concept, so you may use it freely. The author of this game, Sorin Sfîrlogea, considers that the game should and will evolve in the future based on the experiences of the practitioners that will use it. So we encourage you to contact us and let us know your impressions and the improvements that you identified while playing Retropoly. Thank you in advance for your comments and suggestions.
Agile Coach & Senior Trainer
He started his career as a forestry engineer, profession which he practiced for a few years, but somewhere along the way he discovered his passion for IT. So he started all over again and rewrote his professional journey. During his career Sorin had many IT management and Project Management responsibilities, in several business areas (manufacturing, retail, forest management) and several industries (construction, forestry, IT consulting services & software development services).
He is a practician with over 15 years of experience in traditional and Agile project management and 4 years of coaching Agile teams. Sorin is a PMI-ACP (Agile Certified Practitioner).