Timeline Retrospective

Hi folks! I’d like you introduce you to Barbara!

I met Barbara at a client’s office acting as Scrum Master. She went through several great challenges in building up the team and tested various retros.

Recently, she created a really cool retro and has agreed to share it with us! =D

Take it away, Barbs!

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I was looking for an offbeat retrospective to bring alive the vision of the future of a project, to bring the team closer and also create a positive attitude of commitment. Mission almost impossible, but whatever doesn’t exist can be invented, which is why I created the futurespective.

Inspired by the Future Facebook Posts of funretrospectives.com, this is a future/retrospective, energizer and team builder.

I think what makes this activity so incredible is that it invites all the participants to expose the most important individual points to be conquered during the Sprint, and at the same time involves the rest of the team in sharing and validating these conquests, underlining what they consider important to the project’s success. It promotes an environment of collaboration and empathy, in a fun way.

You can use the blank template below, but I recommend personalizing it with photos and the names of each team member. Seeing your own name and photo on the board works like magic to attract interest, empathy, and strengthen the team’s ties.

Instructions:

  1. Print the PowerPoint (template here)
  2. Prepare the board with the title of the activity, the profiles of each team member, and present the post cards.
  3. Explain that you’re going to create a Facebook page with each person’s timeline. Imagine we’re in the future looking at the posts from the past like “memories from a year ago”.
  4. Futurespective: Ask everyone to imagine themselves on the day of the next meeting writing what’s been going on by then in the form of a post. For example: “I finished testing the new product!”. Bear in mind that ideally the future date will be near the next planning meeting. *If the team is going through a quieter time and doesn’t need to focus so much on work, you can tell them to include personal conquests like “went to the movies! ”, “I ran 5km!”, so things get more fun and Energized.
  5. Ask everyone to put their “posts” under their photos.
  6. Team building: Afterwards, distribute “likes”. Each person can only put one LIKE per post. Distribute 5 likes per person. Ideally there should be fewer Likes available per person than the number of posts, to highlight the posts which are really relevant to the group and deserve a LIKE.
  7. Afterwards, start a conversation about the most liked posts and why. This will make it clear to each of them what others consider important for that Sprint and what’s important to the team as a whole. Close by reinforcing that at the next planning meeting the posts will be revisited.
  8. Retrospective: At the return meeting, start an activity with a chat about the posts which really have been finished and why others haven’t. If you want to elaborate, note the factors of success of those which were finished and what would be possible to do to prevent the other objectives, those which weren’t met, from failing again.

Take a look at how the board looks at the end of the activity:

In any team exercise, to avoid the feeling that the activity brought no results or didn’t have a clear purpose, it’s important at this stage to revisit the points raised in the previous exercise. Bear in mind that carrying out an exercise every week is less important than achieving the objectives and directing the points put forward, even if that means working for weeks on end on the same ones.

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If you’d like to exchange ideas with Barbs, get in touch via LinkedIn 🙂

Want to know more about Retrospectives?

Download the FREE e-book about Agile Retrospectives!

Thanks, guys!

Monira Lima
Monira Lima

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