Britta Ollrogge - Agile Coach
Britta Ollrogge - Agile Coach

Retrospective with Moving Motivators

Britta Ollrogge

Do you want to understand how your team-mates get motivated? Do you want to see whether a change has an influence on the motivation?


Moving Motivators, established by Jurgen Appelo (Management 3.0), help to get a picture how the behavior of your team-mates is driven by internal rewards.

I like using the Moving Motivators from time to time as a method in a retrospective. It helps to reflect whether regarding the motivators something can be improved and it helps to understand the team-mates and their motivation better.


More information about Moving Motivators and a free download of the cards can be found here:


Steps to work with the Moving Motivators in a retrospective

  1. Introduction: Give a short overview about the motivators (10 Minutes) und the purpose of the exercise.

Basis for Moving Motivators are the following ten intrinsic motivators:

  • Curiosity: I love running experiments and trying something new.
  • Honor: My values are represented in the team. This supports my loyalty.
  • Acceptance: I am and what I do is accepted by the team
  • Mastery: My work is challenging, encourage my competencies, but feasible. 
  • Influence:  I’m able to influence work and my environment
  • Freedom:  I’m independent and can decide how to do my work
  • Relatedness: I have good relations to my colleagues
  • Order:  There are rules which ensure a stable work environment and security.
  • Goal: My work fits to my goals.
  • Status: I have a good position and my colleagues recognize me.​


  1. ​​​Round 1: How important are the different motivators for you? (15 Minutes)'Everybody on his own: Think about the question and put the motivators into your individual order.
  2. Round 2: How is the current motivation level of each motivator for you? (10 Minutes)
    Everybody on his own: Think about the question and assign a motivation level to each motivator.


To make the evaluation easier I prepared evaluation sheets and asked the team to write down the order of the motivators and the motivation levels there.

Moving Motivators with evaluation sheet
  1. Then one by one everybody talks about the order and motivation levels he chose. The other team-mates standing around the one who’s talking and ask questions, if clarifications are required. If there are more than 7 persons in the team, split the team in two groups. (Around 40 Minutes – dependent on the group size)
  2. Reflection phase with the whole group (20 Minutes)
    What did you observed? What was interesting? What was surprising?
  3. Evaluation (after the retrospective): Based on the evaluation sheet the scrum master prepares an evaluation diagram and prints it. This can be use the work on motivators that are important for the team, but have a low level or the make shifts in the motivation levels after changes visible.
Example: Moving Motivators evaluation overview for a team


  • Moving Motivator Cards – for everyone one set
  • Flip Chart with the 2 Questions
  • Filp Chart with motivation levels
    • 1 – completely not motivated
    • 2 – nearly not motivated
    • 3 – slightly motivated
    • 4 – moderately motivated
    • 5  - motivated
    • 6 – motivated over average
    • 7 – highly motivated
    • 8 – very highly motivated
  • Evaluation sheets
  • Evaluation Excel



  • Prepare examples for each motivator.Especially for “Goal” and “Honor” we had some discussions about the meaning.
  • Plan enough time.
  • For some colleagues it was new to think about their motivation. Therefore enough time for thinking and reflection is necessary.
  • We had interesting discussions about the order of the motivators and notices that some people in the team had completely different orders. To discuss about the motivations helped a lot to understand the colleagues better.
  • If you use the Moving Motivators exercise, plan at least 90 Minutes for the session.
  • Decide how you will do the evaluation before you start the session – then you can prepare accordingly.
  • Structure the excise with an agenda, flipcharts with the questions and motivator level, evaluation sheets and use time boxes.
  • It’s a great method to get deeper insights. The team had really fun during the exercise and everybody was able to contribute.


More information about Moving Motivators and a free download of the cards can be found here:


Launch des Portals Scrum Helden (November 2018)

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