The Speed Car and the Abyss

A variation on The Speed Car retrospective that adds a future-facing section to create a hybrid retrospective / futurespective.

Best For

Evaluating past and future work

When to Use

Approaching a deadline

The Speed Car and the Abyss: Evaluating Past Performance and Future Risks

The Speed Car and the Abyss retrospective exercise is a variation of the popular Speedcar retrospective technique that combines looking back at past performance with a forward-looking view on future risks and opportunities.

In this exercise, the team uses a metaphor of a speed car driving towards a target or goal. The exercise is split into two sections: the speed car (past performance) and the abyss (upcoming risks).

Part one: The speedcar

The first part of the exercise, the speed car, is used to reflect on the team's recent performance and identify what worked well and what could be improved. The team discusses the factors that helped them to move closer to their goal (the engine) and any obstacles or challenges that slowed their progress (the parachute).

  • Parachute: what slowed us down?
  • Engine: what drove us forward?

Part two: The abyss

The second part of the exercise, the abyss and the bridge, is focused on identifying potential future risks and challenges that may arise as the team moves forward towards their goal. The team discusses these risks and collaboratively identifies strategies and solutions for mitigating them.

  • Abyss: what are the upcoming risks or obstacles?
  • Bridge: how can we overcome those risks or obstacles?

Speedcar and Abyss Retrospective Summary

The Speed Car and the Abyss retrospective exercise is a useful tool for agile teams to reflect on their past performance, identify areas for improvement, and proactively plan for potential risks and challenges that may arise in the future.

This exercise can also be used as an alternative to the SWOT analysis exercise.

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