About

As an IT consultant, I often planned and ran sprint retrospectives. Setting agendas that matched the current team setup and mood always took me a lot of time. With Retroulette, I want to make the process of preparing retro agendas easier.

On this site, I collect activities I have used in retrospectives. Each activity comes with hints on when it can be used effectively. If you’d like to add an activity, send a message to dom@retroulette.com and tell me about it.

Tuckman’s stages of group development

In 1965, Bruce Tuckman proposed a model by which a group’s development can be categorized into five distinct stages. These stages are:

  1. Forming

    The team assembled recently, or just saw a new addition. At this stage, people usually work quite independently of each other. They might not all understand or agree on the goals of the team. To grow to the next stage, members must leave the comfort of non-threatening conversation and risk conflict.

  2. Storming

    As the members of the team are getting more comfortable with each other, they start sharing their opinions. That can lead to some conflict, as not everybody is on the same page yet. This is the stage in which status and power are assigned. To grow to the next stage, disagreements and personality clashes must be resolved.

  3. Norming

    With disagreements and personality clashes resolved, a spirit of cooperation emerges. Team members tolerate each other’s whims and work for the success of the team’s goals. The danger in this stage is that the focus on harmony is so great that people are too afraid to share controversial ideas.

  4. Performing

    Team members are competent, autonomous, and able to handle the decision-making process without supervision. Conflict is expected and allowed, as long as it’s handled through means accepted by the team. Even the best teams will occasionally slip into earlier stages.

  5. Adjourning

    Most teams are only in this stage for a short time. They have achieved their goal and break up to form into new teams.

Teams go through these stages in sequence. By selecting activities for retrospectives that match their current stage, moderators can help them in their transitions.