About a year ago, I wrote post on FRIM, a new activity for gathering data for the work of retrospectives.

This is an update. Over the past year, I've had some new ideas and participants in our "Agile Retrospectives" workshop have provided their creative thoughts.

First New FRIM idea: Now when I use the FRIM activity, I draw the grid differently. The vertical axis has stretched up 5 points from neutral for a set of positive impact ratings. and stretched down 5 points for a set of negative impact ratings. (+5 = wildly beneficial impact, +4 = highly beneficial impact, +3 = moderately beneficial impact, +2 = some beneficial impact, +1 = more beneficial than neutral impact; 0 = neutral impact; -1 = more detrimental than neutral impact, -2 = some detrimental impact, -3 = moderately detrimental impact, -4 = highly detrimental impact & serious impediment, -5 = wildly detrimental impact & major impediment).

The horizontal axis of frequency changes with the length of the work increment. For a two week iteration, the ratings would include: A = rarely, fewer than once per iteration; B = about once per iteration; C = ~ once or twice per week; D = daily; E = many times per day; F = continuously.

Second New FRIM idea: When I do FRIM on a single flip chart page, I've learned to use the smaller size sticky notes, 3"x3" or smaller. When I have the luxury of recording it on a white board or a wall papered with butcher paper or multiple flip chart pages in an array, then I like the 4"x4" sticky notes. Always the Super Stickies, 3M Post-it brand, when I can get them. Otherwise I keep a box of drafting dots for backup stickiness.

Third New FRIM idea: After the events have been posted on the grid, ask the group to stand with you across the room. Look back at the grid and see what patterns the team see from that distance. When that conversation slows down, move up closer to the grid and begin reading and seeking understanding about the individual notes.