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How to Make Your Sprint Retro MUCH Better

Have you run a few retros and found them boring or people just weren’t engaged? Maybe people were checked-out, playing with video filters and not paying attention, having side conversations in the chat, or they were silent when you wanted to hear their insights. 

No problem. I got you! 

Instead of the usual humdrum routine, with one change you can make your retro so much more amazing! I present to you Climer Cards! Buckle up, my friends, because we’re about to revolutionize your retrospectives.

One thing I love about the software dev culture is the retros at the end of sprints. These are a great opportunity to look back and reflect on what worked, what didn’t work, and areas to improve. The concept is spot-on. Unfortunately, sometimes the execution is a bit dry and dull. 

At the end of your next sprint, try out the Climer Cards Platform and go from dry and dull to creative, inspiring, and fun all while exploring valuable feedback. 

The Climer Cards Platform is a web-based app with different decks of cards, each designed to spark conversation, deepen connection, lead reflections, or to generate ideas. 

Inside the platform, the namesake deck is called Climer Cards and includes 52 hand-drawn images designed to evoke metaphors and deeper conversations. They were specifically created to help groups debrief experiences and learn from each other. They work because metaphors are a powerful communication tool that allows us to short-cut our way to understand each other better.

How to Use Climer Cards to Lead a Sprint Retrospective

Here’s how Climer Cards work:

The team leader inserts a question or a prompt into the platform for the team to answer. The team answers with a card and then the group engages in conversation based on which card they selected.

For example, here is how software developer Deonna Hodges used the Climer Cards platform during a recent sprint retro with her team..

She asked the team, “Select a card that represents how you felt about our team dynamics and collaboration.”

Team members scrolled through 52 images and selected the one that was a symbol or metaphor for how they felt about their team dynamics and collaboration. They clicked on that image and entered a response.

Here is how Deonna’s team responded.

From there they were able to talk about the team dynamics, using their responses with the Climer Cards images as a starting point.

The next question she asked was “How did you feel as the project was progressing?”

We tend to have a fairly limited vocabulary when it comes to our feelings. When asked how we feel we often say, “fine,” “good,” “busy.” But, these responses don’t share much information. By selecting a more accurate word we can better communicate with each other. The Climer Cards Platform has a deck of emotion words that are useful in dev retros to more clearly convey our experience.

Here are the responses from Deonna’s team.

From there Deonna asked her team to select a card that represents something you learned about yourself and / or your teammates during the project. This question used the Original Climer Cards deck again.

After discussing their learnings, Deonna asked how they felt after the project shipped. They felt proud, inspired, impressed, and optimistic. So much more meaningful than “good!”

The final question asked the group what they would want to start, continue or stop doing in future projects. This is a classic Dev Retro question! 

Inside the Climer Cards Platform is the Traffic Light Debrief deck that provides a whimsical way for team members to respond. As you can see from the responses, team members can submit multiple answers. 

After using Climer Cards compared to other Dev Retro tools, Deonna said the conversation was richer, the group was focused and engaged. When the meeting ended a few people hung back because they didn’t want to leave!

Incorporating Climer Cards into your retrospectives isn’t just about having a good time (although that’s definitely a bonus!). It’s about unlocking the full potential of your team, encouraging honest and open communication, and driving continuous improvement. By infusing creativity and interactivity into the process, these cards create an environment that nurtures innovation and growth.

So, my agile warriors, it’s time to level up your retrospectives. Say goodbye to dull and predictable post-sprint meetings and embrace the Climer Cards revolution. Trust me, you’ll never look back once you’ve experienced the magic they bring to the table. Get ready for some fun! 

Sign up for a free 30-day trial to get started right away or join Dr. Amy Climer for the next free workshop on how to use the Climer Cards platform.

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Climer Cards

A set of 52 cards with unique watercolor images, designed to enhance group conversations through metaphors, leading to more meaningful dialogue and creative idea generation.

Climer Cards 2

Similar to the original, the Climer Cards 2 deck offers 52 new images and includes emotion words in three languages on the reverse side for deeper emotional exploration.

Climer Cards Platform

A digital version of Climer Cards, offering virtual access to several decks for engaging online group interactions, ideal for remote teamwork, e-learning, and digital workshops.

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Climer Cards Activity Guide

Download your free Climer Cards Activity Guide, packed with new team activities to use with your Climer Cards. You will also receive free monthly articles about creativity and teams, podcast and blog posts, and occasional exclusive offerings.