Satisfaction foot

Have you ever thought on how to quickly identify all problems related to a specific thing – project, iniciative, sprint? Or how to rank them and engage everyone, no matter whether you have group of 5 or 50 people? Sounds like a tough task, doesn’t it?

I faced the exact same challenge, and in order to deal with it I designed Satisfaction foot game that helps a lot.  Fast, easy to lead, engaging all participants no matter of the group size. The only condition is to have everyone on site. You can adjust it also to suit remote meetings, but it won’t be so effective.

Time: 10-30 minutes.

What you need?

  • a big room, which allows all participants to walk
  • a whiteboard on one side of the room
  • sticky notes (or any other small cards)
  • pens and markers

Preparation phase

  • Ask all participants to write on a sticky note their level of satisfaction from the project, initiative, sprint – whatever you want to analyze. Scale is from 0% to 100%. Level of satisfaction should take everything into account – results, motivation, atmosphere, people, tools, process used and so on.
  • Whiteboard on one side of the room equals to 120% of satisfaction (yes, 120%, not 100%); the opposite wall equals 0%. You can adjust starting point of the scale according to people satisfaction – just begin with the lowest level.
  • Ask people to stand on the scale according to their level of satisfaction.

Game phase

  • The last person (with the lowest level of satisfaction, closest to the wall without whiteboard) starts by answering the following question:

“What was your most important dissatisfaction factor? Pick one.”

  • Write the dissatisfaction factor on the whiteboard in front of all participants.
  • Ask the person who mentioned the factor:

“Imagine that this factor does not exist. What would be your new level of satisfaction (assuming that the dissatisfaction factor magically disappeared)?”

  • Ask the person to move to the new satisfaction level counting feet.
  • Ask all other participants whether mentioned dissatisfaction factor impacted them too. If yes, ask them to move to the new satisfaction level counting feet.
  • Count feet from all participants and write the number in line with factor name on the whiteboard.
  • Go back to first point of game phase, repeat until… whenever you want. In my mind the best approach is to end when everyone have reached at least 90% of satisfaction.


  • Allow people to go over 100% – just to keep everyone engaged during the whole game. That’s why we have 120% near whiteboard.
  • If two people are at the end, pick the one who haven’t got possibility to speak so far.
  • As a result, you should get a list of problems together with their weight – the more feet the topic scored, the more important it is and affects more people.

And that’s it. I wish you a happy game. Please share your experience with using it!

4 thoughts on “Satisfaction foot”

  1. This is an amazing idea, it reminds me of the race cars in a bowling center, where each alley has one car that moves forward, whenever it hits a strike. Well.. kind of.. maybe not. It is about issues, not about strikes, but that is fair enough. Anyway.. good job, I will test this soon!

    1. Krzysztof Liszewski

      Thanks for a kind words. Waiting to hear about your experiance with Satisfaction foot. 🙂

  2. Hello!

    I tried satisfaction foot today in a retro. We did not have a huuuge room, and the distribution of initial percentages was between 79% and 95% only (which is 16 %). Basically people were standing shoulder to shoulder and made only one or two steps per dissatisfaction factor. This led to a list of 6 dissatisfaction factors with 8, 4, 4, 4, 2 and 1 feet 🙁

    I propose to set the person with the lowest initial satisfaction level to the one side of the room, and 120% at the other side (as you propose), if you don’t have a lot of space. (The space between the the person with the lowest satisfaction level and the wall would not be used anyway.)

    Apart from this “problem”, it went really well and people were happy to stand up and move around a little. After the game we all sat down and thought about action items for the dissatisfaction factors, ordered by descending “feet”.

    1. Krzysztof Liszewski

      Hey, gladly to hear that you manage to overcome challanges and thanks for info.
      Yes, adjusting starting to point to the initial estimation is always good.

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