Timeline retrospective

1st October 2006
Simon Baker

Our last iteration was charged with frustration. This gave me an opportunity to try out a timeline retrospective activity that looked at events and emotions, instead of our usual iteration retrospective format. Our burn-up chart was used as the actual timeline which enhanced the data and experience greatly. We placed each story card on it at a location corresponding to the day it landed in the done column on our planning board.

Timeline on burn-up chart

Timeline on burn-up chart

We stuck color-coded post-it notes to the timeline representing key events, and added color-coded dots to reflect the emotions of individuals during those events.

Color-coded timeline events

Color-coded events

Color-coded timeline emotions

Color-coded emotions

The completed timeline looked like this:

Completed timeline

This rich data allowed everyone in the team to get a much better understanding of the experiences everyone was having – and give each one an insight into why the frustration existed during the iteration.

2 Comments. Leave new

[…] the Retrospective John chooses a timeline to help the team remember/discover what happened in the past two weeks. It’s worse than even John […]


[…] they had. In the retrospective the team discussed sources of interruptions (again using a timeline as […]


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