On Monday, I ran a session with Romilly Cocking at XPDay called "Agile Thinking Tools". The tools we presented were Buzan's mind mapping technique and De Bono's Six Thinking Hats. We believe that agile teams can use these tools to improve their communication and reinforce their collaboration. Simon Baker was there and has a nice write-up of the session here. When reviewing the Six Hat colours, I noticed that they also map well onto the ORID question set. During the session we used the colour scheme of the Six Thinking Hats to draw a mindmap for our session retrospective. Initially, we created a yellow branch for what went well, then a black branch for criticisms, a green branch for suggestions and a red branch for feelings. In a retrospective, I usually ask for a recommendation to match every criticism. As we were developing this map I realised that a better way to connect the recommendations with the criticisms was to draw them as green sub-branches off the black (criticism) branches. Although we used a mind map for our session retrospective, I would not recommend using this technique for anything more that Heartbeat retrospectives for two reasons, 1) size of whiteboard or paper required to cover all the issues that come up and 2) placing items as nodes in a tree structure implies categorisation and prioritisation of items at an early stage. Romilly and I used a yahoo list to plan the session then included the link in the handouts so we could point people at a place for the discussion to continue. Please join us on this list if you would like to discuss further.