The ESVP is a short activity to measure participants’ engagement for the meeting at hand.

Running the activity:

  1. Ask the participants to report anonymously their attitude toward the retrospective as an Explorer, Shopper, Vacationer or Prisoner.
    * Explorers – Are eager to discover new ideas and insights. They want to learn everything they can about the iteration/release/ project.
    * Shoppers – Will look over all the available information and be happy to go home with one useful new idea
    * Vacationers – Aren’t interested in the work of the retrospective, but are happy to be away from the daily grind.
    * Prisoners – Feel they have been forced to attend and would rather be doing something else.
  2. Collect the results and create a histogram to show the data.
  3. Acknowledge the results and lead a discussion about what the results mean for the group.


This is a good variation for the Safety Check, as it asks about people participation from a different perspective. You can follow up with a variation of Creating Safety (” Why do you feel like a prisoner?”). This activity is described in the remarkable Agile Retrospectives book.


Remote-team adivice: This activity works well for remote teams. Use a remote board of your choice.

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