I have conducted a few retrospectives using the weather report as a sort of break in method to try and help the group engage with one another more and find out their mood.
I printed off some cards with some symbols printed on them to represent some weather patterns. Sun, Sun / Cloud, Thunder and Rain.
I then explained that these represented their mood for the past iteration.
Sun = Brilliant
Sun / Cloud = Good
Rain = Bad
Thunder = Terrible
I then set out a Grid and split it into each of the sections above. I then asked each Team Member to pick a card that represented their feelings about the last iteration. This gave me a quick check of how the last iteration went.
You could practice this method often and keep a record of each Iteration and you could chart when the Team are happy or Sad 🙂
Here is the Technique explained.
1) What kind of retro is it best suited for?
I use it in iteration retros but could use it all kinds of retros
2) What phase of retro would you use it in?
I use it in history, but could also use in readying. I used it also as a short reflection on the retrospective itself.
Best suited for iteration retrospective for getting a sense of the mood the team is in. I find it important to repeat this exercise on a regular basis, e.g. in every iteration retrospective.
Length of Time:
For only getting a sense of the mood: a couple of minutes, if you want to use it in the readying you might use this as a start for a discussion or other exercises.
Every participant answers the question: How was this past iteration for you? The possible answers are: great (pure sunshine), good (sun half covered by a cloud), bad (rainy), miserable (thunder and lightning). The participants answer by placing a sticker in the area of their feeling.
Materials: flipchart, marker, stickers
We capture the weather report every iteration and develop a team satisfaction thermometer from it. At first it gives you a sense of where the team is currently.
You can use the weather report also as an opener for the history part.