Distributed Retrospective with Story Cubes

Stories connect over long distance

Submitted by Kai Simons on 04/11/2016
Distributed Retrospective with Story Cubes

Anyone who has worked in a distributed team, knows the challenge of making good retrospectives across locations.

We are a distributed team too and like all distributed teams, we have the special task of making virtual meetings. We regularly try out new tools and new scenarios and try to share our experiences with other virtual teams.

Not so long ago, Kai facilitated our team retrospective. All of us liked it very much and therefore we decided to publish its scenario. Basically it’s all about the stories, which we experience in the companies we work for and which we share with each other. 

Tools we used: 

  • Skype
  • Rory's Story Cubes App for smartphone

Instead of Skype you can use any other tool, which is commonly used by your team for video conferencing. And you don’t necessarily need to take the Story Cubes app, the real story Cubes can also perfectly be used for the retrospective.


  • Story Cubes are diced for each participant. The images of the resulting symbol compositions are exchanged respectively made visible with the help of Skype-Chat.
  • Everyone tells a typical story about his work or the last Sprint, using the Symbols of the story cubes which were diced for him/her.
  • All the symbols are to be used.
  • The order of the stories can be determined on a voluntary basis.
  • As a variation, one could also make a round only with problems and failure stories and a second one with positive experiences.

The playful design of the retrospective had a liberating effect on us. There were things uttered that might not otherwise have come to light. There were not only success stories, but also problems addressed. But since every problem had been described in a real and at the same time fairy-tale like form, the retrospective charged us with energy and put us into positive mood for the subsequent planning meeting.

The usage of this retrospective scenario is not restricted to virtual teams. It can also be applied to non-distributed, non-virtual teams.

Try it out. And if you give us your feedback or share your experience with us, it would be great. - [Contact] (https://www.dasscrumteam.com/kontakt)


Kai Simons


Kai H. Simons

Um über Bestehendes zu meckern sind andere Trainer vermutlich besser geeignet. 

Denn als Fan von radikaler Selbstverantwortung ist Kai der Überzeugung, dass „das große Fingerzeigen“ auf Organisation, Kollegen oder Chef reine Ablenkungsmanöver des Egos sind, um sich selbst aus der Verantwortung zu stehlen. 

Ob Scrum funktioniert oder nicht hängt in erster Instanz von der eigenen Überzeugung ab. Denn wer will, findet Wege - wer nicht will, ausreden. 

Wer bereit ist unter diesem Blickwinkel Scrum zu erleben, mit denen teilt Kai seine 13-jährige Leidenschaft für Scrum ausführlich im Trainingsraum. Als Certified Enterprise Coach® und Certified Scrum Trainer® hat er mit über tausend Menschen in und an Scrum-Fragestellungen verschiedenster Art gearbeitet. 

Mehr über Kai erfährt man auch im Agile Growth Podcast.

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