Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Google Drawing – another great tool for distributed retrospectives

Yesterday I used Google Drawing for a distributed retrospective. I was very pleased with the tool.

The team members talked over a phone bridge (skype or similar would work as well).

Google Drawing was used to collect data on the main data gathering exercise for the retrospective.

Here is the picture generated at the end of the retrospective.

How did I use Google Drawing?

  1. I created a new document (empty canvas)
  2. I prepared the canvas; in this case I placed a picture representing the speed car – abyss retrospective exercise in the middle of the canvas with 4 text boxes identifying the 4 exercise quadrants.
  3. I shared it as a public document and emailed the link to the whole team
  4. I gave the instruction verbally and asked people to use Text Boxes for their notes
  5. I changed the text box color to blue for the notes which became action items
  6. I exported the drawing as a .png and emailed it to the whole group

Simple is good!

The only problem we faced: a few of us got an error message when creating a text box (I believe this was due to all 10 team members creating text boxes at the same time). But this only happened a few times. A simple refresh took the problem away.

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