The Journey Line

Being an Agile Coach & Trainer for Prowareness, I use different types of games, tools and practices every week during meetings, workshops and trainings. Some of these I’ve invented myself, but most already existed and have only been changed slightly to a format that suits me best. The upcoming period I want to share some of these games, tools and practices. I will share the what-why-how-when and what worked well and what didn’t. By sharing my experiences I hope to inspire you to give these tools and practices a try for yourself, improve it and hopefully share the perfected version in return.

What is ‘The Journey Line’ about?

It’s an exercise you can use during a kickoff, retrospective or training. It offers a template to capture all the positive and negative events that occurred during a certain period of time. In a retrospective you can, for example, use the previous sprint as the scope. When you use it during a kickoff as an introduction exercise, the timeline might start the day someone was born.

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What’s the source?

I’ve found this exercise on the website of Luis Goncalves. The example shown below however origins from Lyssa Adkins and Michael Spayed “Coaching Agile Teams Workshop”.

Duration

30 – 45 minutes.

How I’ve used it

I used it recently during a Scrum Master Advanced training. Every participant was asked to create a journey line of the Scrum implementation in his/her organization. The idea was to add all the impediments and successes they’ve encountered. This exercise was the warming up for the central theme of the day: Scrum implementation tactics and problems. The journey line everyone created at the beginning of the training was an ideal starting point for this theme. During all the discussions that followed we could continuously use the journey lines to reflect all the different experiences.

I haven’t used it yet during a retrospective or kickoff. But because of the positive experience I will definitely give it a try soon.

What you need

  • Flipchart sheets
  • Sticky notes
  • Markers and pens
  • Masking tape for sticking up the result

 How to do this

  • Give every participant an empty sheet from the flipchart
  • Draw the timeline on the x-axis and the positive and negative experiences on the y-axis. I wouldn’t add any other constraints; it’s up to everyone’s creativity to draw their journey line.
  • Ask everyone to present their journey line to the entire group and discuss it.

Some examples of the result

As mentioned before, I’ve used it recently to create journey lines of Scrum implementations. Below I’ve added some examples we’ve created during this training.

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I hope this blog post inspires you to give this exercise a try yourself. If so, I would really like to hear your experiences!