Here I’ll look at one of the practical techniques you can use to promote discussion and learning in your Sprint Retrospectives.
A timeline retrospective allows the team to inspect how well the Sprint went, over a period of time. First, you will need a set of axes that represent each day of the Sprint. If you imagine the diagram below, but without the coloured cards.
Each team member will have cards in the colours above and they write down the events that occurred, on the appropriately coloured card. They then attach the card to the board so that it corresponds to the time that it occurred during the Sprint.
The chart provides an excellent visual representation of the Sprint and allows the team to easily see what went well and what could be improved. It also allows us to discover if certain events lead to other events – perhaps a significant event lead to a series of problematic events. Or there may be a cluster of good events around a particular time period.
Either way, the team can discussed these points and learn from them.
This chart could also be compared to the burndown chart for the Sprint. Does the velocity of the team increase when it experiences good events?
Based on the discussion, the team should identify actions they can take in order to improve in the next Sprint.