Retrospective Activity

Snakes and Ladders

Playful Medium   Popularity: 3  

This activity:

  • Known metaphor
  • Focus on improvements


This activity uses the well-known tabletop game of snakes and ladders as a metaphor. When explaining consider the goal that the team has set as the end of the snakes and ladder game and the board is where the team took action.

🐍 Snakes
🪜 Ladders

For the specific activity, the facilitator could use these points to describe the process:

  • The 🐍 Snakes column is for things that act similar to the snake in the tabletop, dragging the team away from the goal.
  • The 🪜 Ladders column is for things that act as boosters, elevating the team closer to the goal.

Onboarding the team to the selected activity is important for a successful meeting. To learn more on what's needed to onboard your team to a retrospective meeting, read here.

Tips & Tricks

This can be a pretty fun activity once the team buys in the metaphor of the game. Try to inspire the team sharing questions like 'what is our ladder near the Start of the game that can lead us halfway to the top?', 'What is a snake that really brought us down near the start or that we should be concerned of?'.

You can use this activity when you are halfway to the end of a cycle to adjust your next steps. Remember to talk about current situations that can have a direct impact when dealt with.

Popularity: 3

The "Snakes and Ladders" activity is often used among Team O'clock teams. It seems that a few teams use this activity for their retrospectives.


Snakes and Ladders

Playful Medium

🐍 Snakes

Things that dragged the team away from the goal

🪜 Ladders

Things that elevated the team closer to the goal

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