The Anonymous Note activity enables participants to signal this intention. At times, some participants want to bring up a point, but do not want to start the conversation about it.
Running the activity:
- Write down the following sentence on the board: Are you ok reading your note out loud?
- Explain that you will ask them to write down a few notes on the following activity, and you want to check that everyone is comfortable reading out their notes.
- Instruct participants to write a Y or N on a sticky note and fold it. Y for “yes,” N for “no, I don’t feel comfortable reading some of the notes I will bring up today.”
- Collect the notes anonymously and place them on the board.
- Share the results with the group.
In case there is at least one N, you should not use an activity that requires participants to read their notes out loud. Otherwise, you are free to ask participants to read their notes before placing it on the board or even ask openly: who wrote this note?
We have participated in several retrospectives. It is really embarrassing when someone asks who wrote something and no one answers. This quick check-in activity helps avoid this situation.
Remote-team advice: This activity works well for remote teams. Use a remote board of your choice.