Discover the agile speed boat: A workshop to boost your projects

In the world of agility, workshops are essential tools to improve collaboration and team performance. Among these workshops, the Speed Boat Agile stands out for its efficiency and simplicity. In this article, we will explore what this method is, how it works, and provide concrete examples to integrate it into your projects.

What is the agile speed boat?

The Speed Boat Agile is a visual and playful workshop used mainly in agile methodologies to identify the obstacles and strengths of a project. Imagined by the famous agile coach Henrik Kniberg, this workshop uses the metaphor of a boat to help teams visualize their current situation and develop strategies to achieve their goals.

Why make an agile speed boat?

In the area of project management and agile methodologies, it is crucial to identify obstacles and capitalize on team strengths to improve performance and efficiency. The Speed Boat Agile workshop is a powerful tool that helps teams visualize these elements in a fun and structured way. But why make a Speed Boat? What are its advantages and how can it transform your projects? Let’s discover it together.

The Benefits of Agile Speed Boat

Identification of Barriers

The Speed Boat Agile allows the team to highlight the brakes (anchors) that slow down the project. By visualizing these obstacles, the team can discuss openly and identify concrete actions to remove them. This facilitates proactive resolution of issues before they become major blocks.

Highlighting the strengths

In addition to obstacles, the Speed Boat Agile helps identify the forces (winds) that push the team towards its goals. Recognizing these strengths strengthens them and ensures that the team continues to benefit from these strengths. This boosts team motivation and morale by highlighting what works well.

Improved communication

The Speed Boat workshop promotes open and constructive communication within the team. Each member has the opportunity to express themselves, share their perspectives and listen to those of others. This interaction strengthens team cohesion and creates a collaborative work environment.

Creation of an Action Plan

At the end of the workshop, the team develops an action plan based on the discussions. This action plan focuses on concrete measures to lift the anchors and take advantage of the winds. This allows the team to focus on clear goals and progress in a structured way.

Stimulation of Innovation

Speed Boat Agile encourages the team to think creatively and find innovative solutions to identified problems. By exploring different perspectives, the team can discover new approaches and ideas that might not otherwise have emerged.

When to make an agile speed boat?

The Speed Boat Agile can be used at different times in the life of a project:

  • Project Start: To align the team with objectives and identify potential risks from the start.
  • Project Environment: To take a step point, assess progress and adjust actions according to obstacles and identified strengths.
  • End of Sprint: As a retrospective tool to evaluate the elapsed sprint and plan improvements for the next.

Objectives of the agile speed boat workshop

The Speed Boat Agile workshop aims to:

  • Identify obstacles (anchors) that slow down the project.
  • Recognize the forces (winds) that push the team towards its goals.
  • Encourage an open and constructive discussion on challenges and opportunities.
  • Develop concrete actions to improve team performance.

How to organize an agile speed boat workshop?

Organizing a Speed Boat Agile workshop is simple and requires only some preparation. Here are the steps to follow:


  • Material: You will need post-it notes, markers, and a whiteboard or large paper to draw the boat.
  • Participants: Invite all team members involved in the project.

Draw the Speed Boat

On the board, draw a boat, an island in front of the boat representing the objectives to be achieved, anchors attached to the boat symbolizing the obstacles, and winds behind the boat representing the forces that push the project forward.

Identify Obstacles and Strengths

Anchors: Ask each team member to write down on post-its the elements they consider as obstacles to the project and stick them near the anchors.
Winds: Also ask to note positive forces on post-its and stick them near the winds.

Discussion and Analysis

Facilitate a discussion around identified anchors and winds. Encourage participants to explain why they have noted certain items and explore possible solutions to lift the anchors and enjoy the winds.

Action Plan

Conclude the workshop by developing an action plan based on the discussions. Identify priority actions to remove obstacles and strengthen strengths.

How to lead a speed boat workshop?

The Speed Boat workshop is a popular retrospective activity used in agile methods, including Scrum, to help teams identify factors that accelerate or hinder their project.

Here’s how you can run a Speed Boat workshop:


  • Participants: Ideally between 4 and 10 people.
  • Material: Post-its, markers, large papers or a whiteboard, a boat drawing.
  • Duration: Between 30 minutes and one hour.

Drawing and explanation of concept

  • Draw a boat: On a large paper or whiteboard, draw a boat. Add anchors (representing obstacles) and sails (representing accelerators).
  • Explain: Indicate that the boat represents the project, anchors are the problems that slow down the project, and sails are the factors that help the project move faster.


  • Distribute Post-its: Have participants reflect individually and write on different post-its what they think acts as a veil (aid) and an anchor (hindrance).
  • Sharing: Let everyone stick their post-its on the drawing by briefly explaining each point.

Grouping and Discussion

  • Group ideas: Help participants group similar post-its together to clarify the main themes.
  • Discussion: Lead a discussion to explore the reasons behind each anchor and sail. Ask how to maximize sails and how to reduce or eliminate anchors.


  • Vote: Let participants vote on the most critical anchors to address and the most effective veils to strengthen. Use stickers or a dot system.

Action plan

  • Define actions: From established priorities, discuss specific actions to be taken. Who will be responsible, and what are the timelines?
  • Summarize: Make sure each action has an owner and a deadline.


  • Recap: Provide a brief summary of discussions, decisions and action plans.
  • Feedback: Ask participants for feedback on the workshop to improve future sessions.

Additional Tips

  • Be an active facilitator, encourage participation.
  • Keep an eye on the time to not overtake and keep the energy of the team.
  • Use digital tools if the workshop is online, such as Miro or Mural to simulate post-its interaction.

This workshop can be very productive and engaging, helping the team collectively visualize the challenges and opportunities of the project.

Read also: Fishbowl Method 

Speed Boat example: A Practical Case

To better illustrate the concept, let’s take a concrete example of Speed Boat Agile:

Imagine a software development team experiencing delays in delivering features. During a Speed Boat workshop, the team identifies several anchors, such as «delays in quality tests» and «lack of resources». At the same time, she notes winds such as “strong collaboration between developers” and “strong management support.” Through this analysis, the team decides to implement solutions to automate quality testing and recruit additional staff, while continuing to strengthen internal collaboration.


Speed Boat Agile is a powerful tool for agile teams looking to identify obstacles and leverage their strengths to achieve their goals. By following the steps described in this article and using the Speed Boat examples, you can easily organize this workshop and improve the performance of your projects.

Integrate Speed Boat Agile into your practices and discover how this workshop can turn your challenges into opportunities and boost your team’s productivity. To learn more about agile workshops and other project management tools, stay tuned to our blog.

More Reading

Post navigation