If you’ve been holding iteration retrospectives for a while, you know that timelines get old after a while. But when team skip the data part, each person works from his own data (which other people may not know) and his own interpretations (which other people may not share). That means that the team is less likely to come up with actions that have broad support.

So here are two more fairly quick ways to gather data for an iteration retrospective.

Diana describes FRIM, an activity that looks at the frequency and impact of events, impediments and boons that affected the team during the iteration. Use this as input into analysis and to decide on experiments and changes for the next iteration.

Jean Tabaka used a sailing metaphor to gather data at the Retrospective Facilitators Gathering retrospective. She asked us to identify events, interactions, etc that put wind in our sails. Then she asked us when we were in the doldrums, becalmed or held back by tides and current. We put up the “wind in the sails” stuff behind the boat, filling the sail and the doldrums stuff in front of the boat. The metaphor helped keep us out of habitual thinking and automatic categorization. And it was kind of fun.

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