Check-ins and ESVP – Explorers, Shoppers, Vacationers and Prisoners

set the stage tools and techniques retrospective meeting - Check-ins and ESVP - Explorers, Shoppers, Vacationers and Prisoners

‘Set the Stage’ is the first of the 4 steps involved in Retrospective meeting. Check-ins and ESVP are two techniques that can you help you with that.


One of the techniques of setting the stage and break the ice is to simply ask the team members to engage with each other by going around the room and give one or two word answer to a question. The question may or may not be related to the project.


ESVP is another popular technique of setting the stage in a retrospective meeting

ESVP stands for,

  • Explorers – Explorers want to learn and get as much as they can out of the retrospectives
  • Shoppers – Shoppers are looking for one or two improvements out of the retrospectives
  • Vacationers – Vacationers are just happy to be doing something different and away from their desks for the meeting
  • Prisoners – Prisoners would rather be doing something else and feel forced to be part of the retrospective

Each member of the team is asked to categorize themselves into one of these four designations. Having the team members designate themselves in a group helps everybody understand their outlook. It also ultimately leads to a more engaged retrospective.

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