Haikubes – Unleash Your Team’s Inner Poet

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Unbox. Roll. Compose. That’s pretty much it. Oh, you have to compose a haiku using only the words that are face-up on the 63 cubes when you roll them and the haiku has to be around a theme (there’s a cube for themes). Take out the theme cube and you have a great and creative agile tool.

They’re called Haikubes and they’re available for $15 on amazon.com.

Haiku is a very short form of Japanese that has simple rules

  • A haiku consists of three lines and 17 syllables. The first line contains 5, the second 7, and the third 5.
  • Typically the first and third lines are images play off of each other with the second line being a sort of verb connecting the two images.

Here are two examples of haikus on Agile from “The Agile Fieldbook,” a blog by Gregory Paul Engel.

Agile? What the ****?

This is not familiar!

Stand up. Now step two.

Help! Show me the way!

Acceptance criteria.

The path is made clear.

Pick a theme like “tell a story about the sprint” and these connect to the essentials of an Agile retrospective —

  • They fully break the Team away from their devices
  • The Team has to talk about different story options to tell until they find one that works with the 63 words at hand
  • The simple rules provide both clarity and boundaries for the Team
  • It’s challenging but fun
  • The Team shares their story at the end

Give it a try and let me know how it works for your Team.