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Running Retrospectives

Retrospectives are a time to look back on our most recent period of work as a team and reflect. Retrospectives help to ensure that teams are always iterating on their process, raising concerns, celebrating victories, and finding actionable solutions to problems.

Retrospectives can be applied to any group or team within the company, and to the company as a whole. We implement retrospectives to ensure that we are always be iterating on our process, and ensure our team members are all engaged with their team and client work.

What are we trying to get from a retrospective?

Retrospectives help to highlight what has been going well, what could be improved, and what needs more clarification. With retrospectives, we can discuss items such as:

  • Is the collaboration with the client team working well?
  • Could we improve on how we run our remote meetings?
  • Are all team members enjoying their work and feeling heard?
  • Are there parts of our process we could improve?
  • Is part of the process so awesome that we should apply it elsewhere?

The outcome of a retrospective should be a developed shared understanding of how we can better work as a team, with some actionable items to help us improve the process and the overall happiness of the team.

When do we run a retrospective?

Each individual team aims to run a retrospective every 1-2 iterations. The longer we go without running a retrospective the longer we delay implementing new improvements and bringing hidden issues to the surface.

By running retrospectives we have a forum for all team members to bring to light any ideas for improvement, voice any issues, and celebrate wins. Keeping our retrospectives regular ensures we do not forget any discussion items, and discussion topics stay relevant.

Running Retrospectives

Retrospectives can be run in many different ways, both offline and online. We enjoy the offline group environment, though there are many great online collaboration tools that make online retrospectives just as engaging.

Each retrospective is run by a different Facilitator, a member of the team chosen in the previous retrospective meeting. The Facilitator can structure the retrospective meeting in any format they choose with the goal of finding a way to openly discuss what has been going well, what has not been going well, what could be added to the process. The outcome of the retrospective is a shared understanding of the topics discussed, with any listed action items assigned to team members to achieve before the next retrospective.

By running the retrospective in different formats we ensure that the members stay engaged through a variety of formats, and the process does not become too monotonous.

Client Transparency

Our aim with retrospectives is to improve the process of the team and deliver more value to our clients. If we plan to implement any process improvement changes we keep our clients updated with a breakdown of our plan and the value we intend to bring with our planned improvements.

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