Published 01/03/2021 at 12:00pm

Award Ceremony Themed Retrospective

This retro is award themed and a fantastic team building exercise. It can help bring the team closer together by realising what each team member brings to the team.

Part 1

Each person in the team should think about each team member and what they value/admire most about them (some helpful questions below).

For each person they should come up with a name for an award to give to that person. There's a few examples later in this article, some of which are tenuous to real award names.

For each person, the team member should prepare the reasons why they have given the award; much like when an award is presented in a real life scenario.

When I did this with the team, each person had their own presentation style and theme of award names. It was superb as it actually told us more about the person presenting adding another layer to the retro. The ultimate goal is to prepare a presentation in any format which suits to present back to the team. Each person will get the chance to present their award ceremony in the next stage of the retrospective.

Questions to ask to help people create their awards

  • What’s the one thing you ask for most from that person?
  • What is that person known for?
  • What’s the one skill they have you wish you had or wish was better in youself?
  • What do you admire most about that person?
  • What have they helped you with recently?
  • How frequently do they do amazing things?
  • What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of that person?
  • If you had to describe that person in 1 word what would it be?
  • If you had to describe that person in 3 words what would it be?

Some examples of awards people gave

  • Best Technical Effects
  • Best Team Member in a Supporting Role
  • Best All-Rounder
  • Best Adapted Developer Play
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Allow 30-40 mins to prepare presentations

Maybe play some background music as people prepare

Part 2

Each team member presents the award ceremony in their own style. I've seen a whole range of styles here; funny images, photoshopped portraits and beautfiully crafted thought felt speeches. As faciliator, just sit back and appreciate how wonderfully creative human beings are.

Each person will need 5 - 10 minutes to present. Allow a little time for further discussion or praise. Given this is a form of feedback, it can be helpful for recievers to ask further questions.

Allow 60-90 mins

Part 3

At this point the team is likely to be very happy from all the positive feedback they've been given. Ask each member to reflect and share anything they learned from the session.

When I carried this out with the team, we spotted a few themes. I thought it was important to raise awareness of these themes, so we can be clearer on our team's strengths, weaknesses and identity and ultimately be more confident of ourselves in the future.

Allow 10-15 mins


This raised awareness and gave oppurtunity for each member of the team to share thought of their peers, their contributions and effectively acted as a really fun form of feedback.

© Louis Rickman 2021