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„How to make Toast“ – A fun excercise with big impact

💡 Start a meeting, workshop, or conversation with a quick exercise to make your ideas visible. Draw ‘How to Make Toast’ to ignite your creative and analytical thinking and visualize what’s next for you and your teams..

What happens when you ask a group this supposedly simple question:

Please sketch all the steps you need: How To Make Toast?
Each step, is a simple drawing on a PostIt. No words.

Timebox: 1 minute. No more details were given. Participants will ask a lot of questions about how, why and what. Just smile and let them start. The outcome will help you in ALL future conversations and discussions. It makes people aware, that everyone has a different idea of first sight so simple task.


How to make Toast @ Lead Developer Conference Berlin 2019

You will find people trying to draw as many steps as they can sketch within the timebox. One person starts by adding the seeds to the soil, growing, harvesting, making flour and so on… Another person just draws 3 steps or 2 steps. And another person has heard: Making Toast aka „Cheers“.

Once all drawings are completed and visible to everyone the great discussion can start. As a facilitator, I will always ask about what the participants noticed here and what learnings are here.

As a ScrumMaster, it’s fascinating to observe the diverse perspectives individuals bring to the table. Some team members lean towards a meticulous focus on details, while others prioritize the broader process. Allowing them the time to independently analyze outcomes fosters a deeper understanding. It underscores the importance of having a variety of personalities in a cohesive team. Another observation I’ve made is the distinct outcomes that arise when employing this approach with a diverse team comprising both Product Managers and Developers. Similarly, when applying this method with a more homogenous group of participants, I’ve noticed specific patterns and outcomes. Whether working with mixed roles or more homogenous teams, this method proves to be a valuable tool for gaining alignment and fostering collaboration. The experience is not only enjoyable but also yields impressive results. Wow!

The game is the idea of Tom Wujec who also invented the Marshmellow Challenge (Build the tallest freestanding structure), he did a Ted Talk 8! years ago:

And I was invited to the Serious Games Podcast: listen


In addition, this task can also be used to visualise and improve the current process #valuestreammapping:

Here, the participants are asked to merge all their drawings and thus identify new processes or remove superfluous things.
Thank you @bart for this idea!


thank you @Florian for pointing me towards this fun video:


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