Behavior Over Time graph

From Faster Than 20

"BOT graph" for short.


  1. What does success look like for you?
  2. Pick a quantitative indicator. This will be your Y-axis. Time is your X-axis, with this year in the middle.
  3. Draw a horizontal line indicating your North Star.
  4. Chart the historical progress of your indicator.
  5. Now extrapolate best case scenario if you keep doing what you’ve been doing.

This exercise accomplishes several things:

  • It forces us to get more concrete about what success looks like and what are the indicators of success
  • Getting concrete leads to shared understanding. A different person with the same high-level desire might have a completely different North Star, extrapolated graph, or indicator. That enables us to get real about how aligned we actually are, which can lead to actual alignment.
  • It forces us to get real about our collective strategies and efforts and to ask, “What will it take to get us to our North Star?”
  • It starts building a more data-informed culture
  • These graphs could eventually serve as the basis of a collective dashboard, which would enable groups to track their progress over time

Some design implications:

You can do this exercise without preparation. It’s actually an interesting test to see how data-informed we are right now. Eventually, you want to bring in real data. We could bring in folks who are already doing this for our participating orgs.


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See Also