State of Nirvana futurespective

Futurespective Idea – Map the steps for a perfect future.

What is the State of Nirvana futurespective?

The State of Nirvana futurespective is an exercise designed to help teams map the steps needed for the delivery of a perfect outcome. Participants define their team’s version of nirvana along with what they expect to have achieved by the first, third, sixth and tenth month. The ideas they share build an outline of their way forward.

The State of Nirvana futurespective is a great tool for new projects, products or epics. It offers a team the chance to imagine what it would take for them to experience and reach a state of working in which they would feel bliss, happiness and a sense of satisfaction.

The definition of nirvana will be different for every industry, organization and team. This is for two main reasons. Firstly, the people that make them up are all different; with differing experiences, values and expectations. Secondly, they are likely to subscribe to differing maturity models, industry standards and methodologies. These things will underpin their version of nirvana.

With that said, most versions of an agile nirvana are likely to include –

  • continuous delivery
  • all operational needs being constantly met
  • monitoring of agreed metrics
  • continuous improvement, and lastly
  • scalability

State of Nirvana futurespective format

Our definition of nirvana

The ultimate state we want to be in. What do we want to be able to do?

1 month

Things to do by month 1. What’s the perfect way to start off now? What goals do we want to hit by the first month? How do we want to feel about the first month?

3 months

Things to do by month 3. What is the ideal first quarter? How did we benefit from the first three months?

6 months

Things to do by month 6. What do we want to see by the time we pass halfway? What will we have learnt? What momentum will we be leveraging?

10 months

Things to do by month 10. As we near the end of the year, what will we be celebrating? What will we have changed? What will be the same?

Suggested icebreaker questions for the State of Nirvana futurespective

  • Describe an ideal day or moment you have experienced.
  • What would be your personal nirvana?
  • What do you think drives us to pursue nirvana?

Futurespective Rehearsal

Apply the State of Nirvana futurespective to running a marathon. Define nirvana and the one month, three month, six month and ten month milestones.

With the input in mind, suggest a plan of action to start your run!

Ideas and tips for your State of Nirvana futurespective

  • Customize your futurespective template to reflect the intervals that will best support the project.
  • Encourage participants to draw on their experience from other projects to fill in the futurespective template.
  • Get your project off on the right foot. Consider using the futurespective to define your team’s Definition of Done.
  • Allow participants to brainstorm anonymously to help them feel safe when adding their thoughts to the futurespective. People are more likely to engage when they feel they will not be judged.
  • Encourage participants to reference the tools, processes and practices they will be using.
  • Ben Linders recommends limiting the number of action items coming out of a futurespective to just the few vital ones needed to get started. Further actions will be shaped when the team meets for their regular retrospective.

How to run a State of Nirvana futurespective in TeamRetro

Start Agile Retrospective

Start your retrospective in a click
Log into TeamRetro and choose your sprint retrospective template.

Invite Your Team
Invite your team easily – no separate accounts needed
Send an email invite, a link or add to your Slack channel to get people started quickly. SSO options are also available.
Agile Retrospective Brainstorm
Time to brainstorm
Each team member can now brainstorm individually under each topic. This avoids group think and allows everyone to have their say. They can indicate when they have finished, or you can set a timer so that you know when to move onto the next stage.
Grouping of ideas after brainstorming in a retrospective meeting
Group related ideas
Drag and drop  related ideas to combine them for easier voting. TeamRetro can also automatically suggest ideas that are similar, saving you and your team valuable time.
Grouping of ideas after brainstorming in a retrospective meeting
Vote independently to avoid anchoring
Each team member votes on what they would most like to discuss further. The results won’t be displayed to everyone until you advance to Discuss.
Grouping of ideas after brainstorming in a retrospective meeting

Discuss the most important things first
You and your team discuss the top voted ideas and can capture deep dive comments.  Presentation mode allows you to walk your team through ideas one-by-one and keep the conversation focused.

Grouping of ideas after brainstorming in a retrospective meeting

Review and create actions

Easily facilitate discussion by bringing everyone onto the same page. Create action items, assign owners and due dates that will carry through for review at the next retrospective.

Grouping of ideas after brainstorming in a retrospective meeting

Share the results
Once you have finished your retro, you can share the results and actions with the team. Your retro will be stored so you can revisit them as needed.

Congratulations! You’ve just run a retro like a boss.
Want more? Read on.