When Mangalyaan (Mars Craft), India’s first interplan-etary project, was launched in 2013, it was a big event. In case of a critical, high-visibility project at work, it is no less than launching a spacecraft! While Mangalyaan had about one year to reach its target, imagine your project has only one or two more sprints to go before release. The spacecraft analogy will help teams relate to this situation better and help them come up with situations that keep the project on target or crash it.


Name and Description-  Team Yaan

When India sent its Mangalyaan Mars orbiter craft into space, one of my teams had a retrospective scheduled for the next day. This made me think of creating a news buzz of sorts, giving an introduction about the spacecraft to the team. We drew a picture of a rocket on the board and named it “Team Yaan.” We noted that while Mangalyaan has one year to reach its target, our project had just one sprint left to complete its release. It was the most critical, high-visibility project in the organization, as important as the Mars craft was for India. We said, “Let us identify, as a team, the driving forces—i.e., what we need to keep doing to ensure that we hit the target—as well as the pulling forces—the impediments and bottlenecks that are keeping us from reaching the target.” The team was very excited by this analogy, and they came up with good information.

It can help on a project if you use some examples from current events, as many people will be able to easily correlate these situations to their work experience.


Large white board or a large piece of poster paper. Three colours of sticky notes and markers.


On a whiteboard, or a chart paper, draw a space-craft that’s about to launch as shown obove.

Work with your team to:
1. Identify the blockers or the pulling forces in your project that may put the project at risk.
2. Identify ways to protect your work or your team against these blockers.
3. Identify the driving forces and good practices that have helped to keep you on track, so far.