Half-Day Kick-off Structure

When performing Scrum or Kanban support, it often requires a whole series of events such as scoping meetings, stakeholder awareness, then training in Agility and then in Scrum / Kanban before actually being able to start something. thing. It's a process that I sometimes find a bit cumbersome for the short-term results that can be achieved.

Today, I am experimenting with a lighter support, centered on the implementation of a visual management to allow the team to have a shared understanding of the current situation. We obviously talk about Agility in our exchanges, but the objective is above all to provide a tool allowing them to make decisions and thus take action.

I will share with you in future articles the successive workshops set up as well as my feelings about this different approach! 🙂

First half-day workshop: the kick-off! 😉



Here is the program for this first half-day of the workshop:

  • Introduction : " Who am I, who are you and what are we going to do today? »
  • Vision : " Why are you here ? »
  • How to fail: “What could you put in place to fail? »
  • Speedboat: “What are your resources, your obstacles and the risks you foresee? »
  • Squad Health Check: “How healthy is your team today? »
  • Coach: “But what is an agile coach? »
  • Commitment : “After all this, what personal commitment do you make? »
  • Lunch : « After the effort, the comfort! »

Draw Yourself and Speedboat


To start the session, I decided to go on the Draw Yourself activity as an icebreaker. The principle is simple, we ask everyone to draw themselves on a support (A4, post-it…) then to introduce themselves.

In my case, I proposed to the participants to structure their productions as follows:

  • Their first name
  • Their representation
  • Their role in the team/title
  • What they think they bring to the team

The idea was for me to be able to identify the type of profiles that I had in front of me and to allow everyone to materialize their individual contribution within the group.

In addition, to have a coherent common thread in the series of workshops, I combined the restitution of the Draw Yourself with the materialization of the boat of the Speed Boat. Indeed, when everyone was ready, I asked everyone to come and introduce themselves by positioning themselves on the boat. It is interesting to see that naturally, people explain why they position themselves in such and such a place, which gives us additional clues about their vision of themselves in the team.



After materializing the team boat, it was time to figure out which direction it should move!

In terms of process, I asked:

  • At sponsor : of share your vision through photo-language images (previously placed on a table). He finally chooses 3 to support his speech
  • At rest of the team : to note individually on post-its keywords from the sponsor's speech

After that, I placed the images selected by the sponsor on a Flipchart sheet and invited the participants to stick the Post-its with the corresponding keywords on them.

The exercise was particularly interesting for the sponsor who was able to obtain direct feedback on what could be retained by his team.

failure wall


After synchronizing everyone on the vision, one of my favorite exercises at the moment is to ask the following question to the team:

What are the 10 wonderful techniques you would use

to defeat the implementation of this vision?

 I remember a few important things:

  • This is an exercise performed individually and debriefed in full group
  • The number 10 is chosen more or less at random, the idea being to give a number large enough to cause people to dig into the options available to them.
  • The techniques must be as concrete as possible. Whether they are elaborate techniques or not, eccentric or not, knowing that the most eccentric have for the most part a real anchor in reality!

The instruction being serious (the techniques must be real), the animation must remain light so as not to focus the energy of the group towards failure. On the contrary, the purpose of the exercise is to reduce the probability of arrival of each element mentioned.

The debriefing is done quickly. I simply ask people to come and present their techniques: there is no debate between the participants on the content, simply an awareness of everyone's creativity on this subject! 😉

Speedboat: the rest

qos_strengths   qos_anchors   qos_risks

This part simply corresponds to the facilitation of the other components of the Speed Boat.

For more details: here is a article that I had written about it.

Squad Health Check


The Squad Health Check is a "convergent" tool that I like to combine with the Speed Boat which is rather "divergent" in the sharing of ideas.

It thus makes it possible to get an idea of the feelings of the team according to certain issues such as the delivery of value, the quality of the deliverables, or even fun and autonomy.

How it works ?


  • Prepare a poster with all the themes in a column
  • Build 4 columns: 3 levels of satisfaction + trend
  • Distribute a set of lights to each participant of the team: red light, yellow light and green light


  • For each theme, read the explanation corresponding to the green light (“definition of Awesome”) and that corresponding to the red light (“definition of Crap”) to allow the team to have a shared understanding of the rating scale
  • Ask everyone to individually reflect on where the team stands on this ladder
  • When everyone is ready, invite sharing of results
  • After counting the votes, materialize them on the poster and circle the majority result.
  • Discuss differences in the team
  • Ask for the trend of the theme for the future: does the team think the trend is stable? is she getting better? by degrading?

The result then corresponds to the state of health of the team at that moment. The goal will then be to repeat the exercise in a month or two to see what the differences are.

You will find the instructions and the equipment to use below:

Coaching approach


This part is essential for me to build a bond with the team. Indeed, it simply allows the role of the Agile coach to be put back in its proper place and to give meaning to the support process.

First, I asked the sponsor to share what had been previously defined together concerning the support process. The interest was to give visibility to the team of the work that we are going to do together – always with regard to the vision – and thus to prepare them for the next steps.

Secondly, I specified the role of the Agile coach according to a few themes:

  • Assignment : Help the team to grow in maturity and autonomy on the method, raise awareness of situations, develop practices (continuous improvement, problem solving, etc.)

The important thing of the message for me is above all to explain that the Agile coach is not there to impose anything on the team. On the contrary, he is there to help the team achieve its objective, whatever the method used, by offering them new perspectives or simply feedback on their current practices.

  • Values : Transparency, Pragmatism, Trust, Communication, Feedback, Authenticity…

These are only elements among others but to detail a little bit, here is what I was able to give as details:

Transparency, Authenticity: it is important for me to say clearly what I think, to show and explain why I am doing such and such a thing for the team because to make the best decisions, I prefer that all the cards are on the table.

Pragmatism: Rather than bringing only concepts for concepts's sake, my role is to bring the most actionable options possible for the team.

Confidence: it turns out that I have unconditional confidence in the abilities and skills of the people I work with – it's probably my care bear side. From there, nothing is really impossible, unless you convince yourself of it! 😉

  • What he is : Catalyst of the method, trainer, animator, observer, facilitator, adviser...
  • What it is not : Sauveur, Project Director, PMO, Manager, Product Owner, Scrum Master…

Finally to conclude, I specify that Agility (or the Agile coach) are only tools to achieve their objective.



For this last part, I wanted to build a collaboration contract with the team. Even if it remains a symbolic act, I nevertheless find it necessary and meaningful.

Not having much time at my disposal, I reduced it to the bare minimum by asking:

In view of all that we have done during this workshop

(sharing of the vision, state of health of the team, explanation of the coaching process),

what commitment(s) do you make for the team?

As usual, I am the first to submit my entry. Indeed, this materializes that they are not the only ones to engage in the adventure and that the relationship is indeed equal.

Each then expresses what he or she is committing to and inscribes his or her name or symbolically on it.


The workshop went pretty well. We finally did a lot of things in the space of 3 hours knowing that the timing was respected.

I find the structure of this kick-off rather complete, which confirms the fact that I could reuse it if necessary! 🙂

And you, what do you do during a half-day Kick-off?


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Olivier MY

Olivier MY

Trained as an engineer and passionate about people, I quickly turned to the world of Agile coaching and Professional coaching. Today, I support individuals, teams and organizations towards creating value adapted to the constraints and challenges of today's world. I am committed to contributing to the professionalization of the profession, in particular through detailed feedback and inspirations highlighting the importance of an open, curious and respectful posture.


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