The Hot Air Balloon is a hybrid retrospective / futurespective that looks at what is helping / hindering the team and what positive / negative things are on the horizon.
In the middle of a project
The Hot Air Balloon is a combined retrospective and futurespective.
Use it with your team to combine assessing past activities with looking forward to the future.. The hot air and sandbags represent what has been driving or holding back the team, while the storm clouds and sunshine represent potential positive and negative events on the horizon.
This helps a team think of their recent work as a part of the whole project, not just in isolation. The team think about how to improve based on their last sprint, but also look ahead to identify risks.
Time needed: 75-90 minutes.
To extend this exercise, ask the team what stops them from floating into space - and is floating higher always better? If the sandbags are too heavy or the storm clouds force the hot air balloon to make an emergency landing, how would the team take off again and resume course?
The 4 Ls is a popular four-panel retrospective that asks teams to feedback on the positives and negatives of a particular topic or activity.
Four-panel retrospective with alternative categories of Drop, Add, Keep and Remove.