Dialogue Sheets

Dialogue sheets are a technique invented in Stockholm at the Royal Institute for Technology, KTH. The intention is to promote good conversation and can be used for a variety of discussion based activities.

Allan Kelly, founder of Software Strategy has developed these ideas to produce a series of dialogue sheets which can be used by teams for retrospectives, Agile Kick-off and team discussions.


Dialogues Sheets Explained

A dialogue sheet itself is a large, A1 or similar size, piece of paper which is decorated with questions, quotes, illustrations and space for thinking. The questions on the sheet serve to guide the team through the dialogue sheet process and focus thinking on the subject of the dialogue sheet.

Typically a team of 3 to 8 will spend between one and two hours working the sheet. They will normally record their thoughts, comments and observations directly onto the sheet. At the end of the exercise the sheet may be retained for future reference, hung on a wall, photographed or any one other anything else which the team find helpful.

Allan Kelly initially developed a series of dialogue sheets for retrospectives. These are available for free from Software Strategy as PDF files. To successfully use the dialogue sheet it will need printing. Since few companies have an A1 sized printer this can be difficult and requires the help of a professional printer.

The success of the retrospective dialogue sheets has led to the creation of several sheet for us in team discussions or kick-off meetings. For example, the Agile Kick-Off sheet is intended for teams which are embarking on Agile working. This sheet provides all team members an opportunity to talk about what they like (and don’t like) about Agile and which practices they wish to adopt.


Keep Up to Date

Changes

  • 11/2014: Xanpan Planning DS available in French.
  • 10/2013: Video introduction added; T2 sheet retired.
  • 05/2013: Planning sheet released for testing.
  • 04/2013: InfoQ publish Dialogue Sheets Revisited.
  • 04/2012: French and Spanish translation of Sprint Retrospective DS, Spanish version of Agile Thinking DS.
  • 03/2012: Revision of Sprint Retrospective DS. Version 2 available in re-usable laminated format from print on demand service.
“Your dialogue sheet has been a powerful tool in helping our newer team members to get their input heard and visible. Before we used your sheet, it was becoming an issue for the retrospectives that we weren’t really always getting to root cause or even getting visibility to all the issues that impacted our sprint. Your dialogue sheets have enabled us to build in an easy way to get everyone involved in the retrospective.”
Mike Wickham, Department of Health & Welfare, Idaho State Government