Retrospective Facilitator Gathering

Regardless of what we discover...

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Team Reconnaissance

re·con·nais·sance   [ri-kon-uh-suhns, -zuhns] noun

  1. the act of reconnoitering.
  2. Military . a search made for useful military information in the field, especially by examining the ground.
  3. Surveying, Civil Engineering . a general examination or survey of a region, usually followed by a detailed survey.
  4. Geology . an examination or survey of the general geological characteristics of a region.


Definition and Applicabality


What / Why / When

Team Reconnaissance or Radar or Scanning or Contracting means the systematic or intuitive exploration of the environment for a team event, coaching, retrospective or training. It should be performed up to one week before the actual event, in order to gather crucial information to hold up a mirror, discover the context, become aware of the context and potential dangers and prepare yourself, your facilitation to the best extent possible.


TR can happen in a large variety of different ways. The main areas to reconnoit could be:

  • Geography - the physical setting
    • Seating orders
    • Distributed locations
  • Language - the way people communicate
    • Swearing or the absence of it
    • Sarcasm or the absence of it
    • “Them…” vs. “Us…”
    • Silence
  • Equipment - the tools and devices
    • Facilitation Tools
    • Communication Tools
    • Posters
      • Unchanged Team Chartes
      • Evil, demotivating
  • Culture - Openly visible and unspoken rules, privileges, groups
  • Teamwork - the 5 dysfunctions of a team

Among the collection of techniques to assess these areas, we found:

  • Spies - have some insider tell you about it (rather interview the attendees ahead of the event)
  • Documentation - use mind maps or other techniques to record your observations.
  • Tricks of the trade
    • arrive early, walk the rooms “looking for a wall for the timeline” or locate the kitchen



Different seating orders indicate communicational dysfunctions


Ballpoint Game results, sociographs and personality types.



* Better Do It - Make Scanning a conscient integral part of your contracting
* Get Help(ers) - Integrate your clients in the preparation and ground clearing part.
* Document It - Ensure that you can use your observations at a alter time.
* Work With It and Rework It - Continuous improvement of Scanning.
tu4.1.txt · Last modified: 2018/10/27 07:58 (external edit)