Exercise - Strategy & Scissors

Exercise - Strategy & Scissors

Strategy and Scissors - a retrospective for plans

Purpose: Work out how people in your team feel about what was in your delivery plan last time and whether the same items should appear in the next iteration of the plan.


  • A written strategy document which can be printed and then cut up. If your strategy is in someone’s head, this ain’t going to work.
  • Lots of pairs of scissors
  • Big rolls of paper to stick parts of the strategy on
  • Bits of tape or glue

How it works

  1. Draw yourself a grid like the one below
  2. Label the grid along one side to reflect the past (Left -> Right): Didn’t do, Kinda Did, Nailed it
  3. Label the grid along the other side to reflect the future (Top -> Bottom): Should do more, Unsure if should repeat / If repeated, change something, Never again!!!
Didn't do Kinda did Nailed it
Should do more

Unsure if should repeat /

If repeated, change something

Never again!!!
  1. Have your team cut up the items of the strategy and position them on the grid as above. We did this in multiple pairs, then reported back, to see if there were discrepancies between how different members of the team felt about the different items. Note: Depending on how detailed your strategy is, you might want to specify how detailed you want them to go, do you want to rank by the individual activity level, or just the high-level goal? Otherwise, you could be there for a long time!

In the end…

You’ll have a nice idea of which parts of the strategy your team felt you excelled on, what they feel should be dropped and what taken forward. You’ll still need to do some sanity checks and rationalising (it’s likely ‘boring’ bits will be proposed as candidates to drop, but some are probably necessary!), but this should give you a good baseline.

What happened when we tried…

Here’s one we made earlier:

Our strategy hack

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