Story Cube Timeline


Story Cube Timeline


Between 30 minutes and 45 minutes. Allow 5-10 minutes to debrief


Rory’s Story Cubes set


It’s a game with “story cubes” and a lot of insight for teams.  Easy to adapt to your needs, and get the best value of “good” things. Allow people to talk openly and exchange points of view. The timeline could be 12-6-3 months or a project debrief.


Step 1: Define the timeline…

Define the timeline period. I personally did the full 2014 year. It was the first retro from 2015, so we did a review of 2014 to see all the GOOD things we did. In any case, you can adapt it to a 3-6 months timeline, or “last” project review, or something.

Step 2: The cubes…

This step will depend a lot on the number of cubes you have and the number of people in your team. If you have the full set of story cubes (~$50.-CAD or ~$25 USD in Amazon), it will be 27 cubes. In this exercise, team members took 3 or 4 cubes to represent something during 2014. One rule I did was: ‘Each person must be able to represent something every 3 or 4 months”. With that rule, I was sure that we would get events during the full year.

Step 3: Individual story…

At this moment, people have their cubes, the rule (s), and the timeline. One by one start to put their cubes in the timeline and explain “what” the cube represents. Here, be ready to see funny “cube pictures” and really good things, and some things to improve.

Note: Don’t look for precise dates if the timeline is long. In our case, 12 months was long, so we were looking for the  “months” and forgot the day.

Step 4: The full story now…

Now, each team member gives very good stories around the timeline. It is time to put it all together. Allow the time to discuss, and add more explanation about each event or cube. It is here where team members exchange a few points of view and decide what happened first and so on.  The team exchanges points of view on the same event, I personally enjoy those 10/15 minutes to put it all together. In the end, few members tell the full story, everyone agrees and that is all.

Step 5: Capture the result…

Step 6: Debriefing…

I cannot do a game or exercise without spending 5 or 10 minutes to debrief the result. Here, I ask “What did you like more?”, “Should I change something next time?”, and more questions to give you feedback and feelings from team members.

Learning Points

Positive spirit enforced. Insight and different points of view about the same subject/event. Team building. Team trust and commitment.

Link to Game: Story Cubes Time Line Retrospective – AgileCafe

About Tasty Cupcakes

This content was originally published on Tasty Cupcakes, a community-run website founded by Michael McCullough and Don McGreal after they presented a series of games at Agile2008 in Toronto. The site’s tagline was “fuel for invention and learning.” After 15 years at, the content has found a new permanent home here at Agile Alliance.

The games, techniques, and approaches presented are here to use and explore. All we ask is that you tell others about us and give us some feedback on the games themselves. All of this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Add to Bookmarks Remove Bookmark
Add to Bookmarks Remove from Bookmarks
Add to Bookmarks Remove from Bookmarks

Got feedback? Join the conversation!

Explore additional Agile Games

Description Organization and prioritization are two distinct activities that can be used to improve the quality of a product backlog. A simple linear list is difficult to prioritize. As well, many stakeholders are forgotten in the rush to deliver cus…
Objectives Learn about the attributes and duties of a role. Verify what your students already know about the subject (complemented by a short lecture). Let your students learn from each other. I've successfully used it with all three Scrum roles: th…
This activity was designed to teach continuous integration concepts and value without resorting to code, a continuous integration server, or any hardware or software.  While the participants will experience some frustration in trying to complete the …
While we've all heard about "pair programming", pairing is not just for programmers. In this activity, participants will use fiction/creative writing to understand the importance and value (and fun) of pairing. Timing Prep: Printing out the ha…

Discover the many benefits of membership

Your membership enables Agile Alliance to offer a wealth of first-rate resources, present renowned international events, support global community groups, and more — all geared toward helping Agile practitioners reach their full potential and deliver innovative, Agile solutions.

Not yet a member? Sign up now

Spring Fund Drive

Help support our mission!

Agile Alliance is a global non-profit membership organization founded on the Agile Manifesto and the 12 Principles behind the Manifesto. If you’d like to make a contribution to help us in our mission and to continue our work, you can make a donation today.