Celebrate learning with the Celebration Grid!

Ihmisen - Le Blog

Celebration Grid Does your organization appreciate the things you’ve learned? Do you applaud colleagues who do their jobs well?

These interesting questions were spotted by Jurgen Appelo in his book “Managing for Happiness”. Jurgen Appelo introduces the Yay! Questions and Celebration Grid. You could find some information by visiting the Management 3.0 website: https://management30.com/practice/celebration-grids/.

I noticed in my company that we don’t correctly celebrate our learning after a technical and commercial proposal to our customers. Sometimes we win the contract, sometimes we don’t… Of course, it’s normal! However, I thought that it could be interesting to take a few minutes to celebrate our proposals and learn from our practices and our experiments. That’s why I introduced my team the Celebration Grid.

How to implement the Celebration Grid

  1. Start by drawing the celebration grid on a whiteboard, a large paper, a wall… In my case, I’ve chosen the brown paper to have a BIG Celebration Grid (see below photo). My idea was to arouse interest of all my colleagues and other teams.
  2. Explain to people how it works. Don’t forget to explain the spirit of the Celebration Grid, and the meaning of each part composing the grid (where we learn…).
  3. Try to launch it by asking the two Yay! questions: “What did we do well (by following practices)?” and “What did we learn (by running experiments)?”
  4. Celebrate what you learned and what you practiced.

How my team reacted? What did they learn?

The first time I have introduced the Celebration Grid, my colleagues were skeptical regarding it value for our daily job. However, they loved the classification! I agree that the sentence "WTF, dude! You screwed up! Where is your brain?" can't let you with no comment :).

Hopefully, my introduction came with an example. In live and in front of my colleagues, I positioned our last technical & commercial proposal within the Celebration Grid. Then, I've asked the two Yay! questions. I started the discussion by giving my point of view and two of my colleagues continued the discussion.

I restarted the exercise a second time, then a third time... And step by step, I observed more and more participation in our debriefing. That's mean more and more things to learn. At this point, my team recognized the Celebration Grid has brought some interesting points like allowing the discussion regarding a lost proposal.

Finally, one day, someone took the lead (by himself) and positioned a proposal on the Celebration Grid. It was an important crossing point for me. Here, I understood my team completely adopted the Celebration Grid. A proof: few weeks later, another of my colleagues proposed a simplistic template to catch our main points (when positioning something through the Celebration Grid).

I can say today the Celebration Grid has been fully adopted by my team!


  • The Celebration Grid has been a success. It is now part of our daily job.
  • The Celebration Grid is now a best practice for us, and we use it for new topics/experiments.
  • The two Yay! Questions associated with the Celebration Grid allow reinforcing good behaviors and learning. Both are necessary when you are looking for motivating your team.
  • The Celebration Grid could be also useful to animate one of your retrospective.
  • Never give up! The Celebration Grid will be adopted :)!