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Sea Retrospective

December 1, 2014

There is a wonderful game from our childhood. I think many people have played it. The groups chooses one person who turns away and says:


The sea is rough - one.

The sea is rough - two.

The sea is rough - three.(Children at this time depict the fermenting sea.)

Sea figure, stop dancing in the blue sea.

Players are swinging and circling. At the words "stop dancing in the blue sea" they freeze in a pose depicting any object or animal, which is relevant to the marine theme.


Still it’s not too late to return to our childhood and play that game again at the next Retrospective. This is especially true if we want to quickly warm up the participants and collaboratively come up with a huge number of ideas.

Follow the simple algorithm:



  • Specify the questions we want to get answers for.

  • Give out stickers and thin markers to each participant.

  • Announce that from this moment the participants are waves that float in a stormy sea.

  • Start spelling "The sea is rough — one...". At this time people have to start movements, depicting the sea and the waves. Do not hurry them, and do not hurry yourself. During this part the process looks more like the Brownian motion rather than the raging sea, but we used to think in metaphors, didn’t we?

  • When saying "Sea figure, stop dancing in the blue sea" all the participants stop and form pairs with their occasional neighbor. Discuss the posed question within a minute with your partner. Write down on sticker what he/she says.

  • Let people run to the flip chart and hang the filled stickers on it.

  • A new round begins.


I have done it many times. The Sea Retrospective really works. What do you think, maybe next time I should provide participants with some vests for make it more fun?

If you are looking for new tactics, tips and games for you Scrum Retrospectives, you can find a lot in my FREE LeanPub book "A Scrum Master's Practical Toolbox".


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