This is a fast and effective way to measure the group participation on the retrospective activities to follow.
safety check
Running the activity
  • Ask participants to choose a number between 1 and 5 that indicates how safe they feel within the group. Below is the meaning for each number.
5 – No Problem, I’ll talk about anything
4 – I’ll talk about almost anything; a few things might be hard
3 – I’ll talk about some things, but others will be hard to say
2 – I’m not going to say much, I’ll let others bring up issues
1 – I’m not going to talk at all, I don’t feel safe.
The numbers should be taken anonymously. So everyone should use the same post it and pen color
The facilitator collects the post-it from each participant (use a hat or some container to keep the activity anonymously).
  • Make it visible to the whole group the safety check result.
  • Acknowledge the result and decide what’s next.
What to do with the results?
Here is what I typically say when:
  • the safety is high: “it seems like many folks in the room are up for talking about many topics, therefore it is very worthy moving to the next activity, which should trigger many conversations.
  • the safety is medium: “as visible on the safety check results, some folks are not willing to talk about all topics. Let’s have this in mind and I (as a facilitator) will not ask everyone’s opinion. Given some folks are not comfortable to talk about everything
  • the safety is low: “as visible on the safety check results, the group safety seems low. For this reason, let’s use the remaining time and run an activity which might help us increase the group safety level

Creatingsafety is a good follow up activity when the safety is low or medium.