Hey everyone!! .
Any advice on running better weekly retros? We have a standard “What went well? What did not go well? What are we going to commit to?” dialogue, but I’m wondering if there are ways for me to be more effective in driving this discussion than literally reciting each question.
Hey everyone!! .
I’ve seen this tool used well by engineering managers I’ve worked with before when running retros. basically helps put the retro session on a set of rails with prompts to stimulate better discussion. you could also roll your own approximation of what this does with something like Miro. hope that helps!
Isn’t weekly too early? I don’t know the context, but I feel like if this is for your Engg teams, then most likely, in a week the amount of things they could accomplish will be interjected by a lot of noise and so a retro, IMO would be very surface-level. As in the team will not get an opportunity to really introspect.
Again, I don’t know the context and it could very well make sense to have a retro or a pulse-check weekly depending on:
- New project kicking started
- New team formed
But once the canyon of discovery is past, a weekly retro is too soon to assess and correct courses. But to answer your question literally, we do something from this tool: The free trial version has been used very effectively. They cycle thru several variations of retro - anywhere from the traditional start-stop-continue to mapping the team’s pulse check - motivation, pride of ownership, etc.
Here’s an excerpt from an article I came across a site:
Retros can be run in lots of different ways. You may want to start with a basic meeting template to gather information but, as the team gets used to the format, it can be fun to try new ideas.
You can use different styles for different aims. For example, I recently held a retro using a ‘one-word’ format. Each team member was asked to write on a post-it one word that they felt summed up the last period of work. Everyone else in the team then had to guess what the person meant by that word. After everyone had guessed, the person who wrote the word revealed what they meant. Then the next word was spoken and the process was repeated until all the words had been shared. The aim was for each team member to put themselves in their colleagues’ shoes, to give everyone a chance to speak and encourage discussion.
A simple internet search can reveal lots of other ways to run retros. Here are a couple of examples:
Hope this helps!
Thanks @MarcoSilva, I’ll go through the tool.
@SamanthaYuan, we do a weekly retro on our sprint to try to figure out what went well, what didn’t go well, and what we could do better. We are a fairly new team in the org, and are trying to establish what works well and what doesn’t as we get started.
@VladPodpoly, Thank you so much for the article. Seems very interesting article. If you could share the link, I can go through the full article.
Hi @Lawrence! I’ve found a “Congrats & Thanks” category to be extremely effective and motivating in retro - it gives the team a chance to thank each other, get a bit of kudos, and helps the team see the positive even if the sprint overall didn’t do great. Hope that helps!
Hello @Lawrence, What’s not effective with your retros? Are you not getting quality feedback from the team? Do you feel like team members are not being open enough with honest feedback? Please share some more details so that we can work out some solution or ways to help you out.
Having run a few retros, here are my tips.
Things that worked:
- Having a time-keeper to keep everyone on track as discussions can get lively.
- Creating an open, honest space where everyone can talk about their views.
- Writing down the actions you agree on.
- Bringing in cakes or sweets to energize the team.
Things to avoid:
- Having a retro that covers too much.
- Talking about issues that don’t relate to what your retro is about.
- Blaming people.
In summary, retros are regular meetings where everyone in a team has a chance to talk about what they liked, didn’t like or need to change in a process. Running retros in the Content Core team has helped me to build my confidence, generate trust and encourage team morale.
We try keep it light & simple: what should we keep, stop & start doing and why. As for when, typically it’s done post-sprint & quarterly team and self retrospective or reflective.
I used to run retrospective every 15 days or so on https://action.parabol.co/ for a completely remote team. It worked alright.
Whether or not this is your first time running a retrospective meeting, here are 5 best practices to help your team find strengths and weaknesses in your current processes.
I think that because of the new challenges we’re facing, now is a better time than any to run a retro, and so whether or not this is your first time running one, here are my 5 top tips to make sure that your retros are a success:
- Define the parameters of the retro
- Let everyone know at least a week in advance that a retro is going to take place
- Show that you want to hear the bad stuff
- Make it fun!
- Collect Feedback