How to Lead a Successful Project Retrospective Meeting 2019 Update The Lucid Meetings Blog

Assemble a project report and timeline, including major events and milestones. If your group might be prone to playing the blame game, study up on blameless retrospectives. Also, consider sharing the Retrospective Prime Directive at the beginning of the meeting. An enormous part of what helps one project work where another doesn’t is luck – and we take it for granted. Instead, we should be looking for ways to learn from our lucky breaks and design ways to be successful that we can manage directly. Leading a really great retrospective takes skill that you can only gain through experience.

If you rush it, you’ll get whatever comes to mind in the moment, which will usually say more about how each participant’s current project is going than what happened in the last one. It’s important not to skip or rush through this step, especially for larger projects. People will arrive at the retrospective ready to discuss and solve problems, often assuming they know everything they need to know about what happened. We recommend running a Retrospective with your team every couple of weeks or at the end of a project milestone.

A Framework For Productive Consulting Meetings (and Happier Clients)

Gathering Data gives your team a chance to get on the same page about just what happened in an attempt to create a shared reality. Now, if the team had jumped right into the rest of the retrospective, they might have been annoyed at Jeff’s negative attitude. But because of the one word check in activity, the team’s understood why Jeff was acting that way.

I bet you can think of a time when data was tracked without a clear purpose (“that’s just how we’ve done it in the past”). Alternatively, you can turn Subjective Data into measurable information. For example, you could setup a Team Radar to ask your team how it is doing living up to the Scrum Values from 1 to 5 (1 being “poor” and 5 being “excellent”). By aggregating the results across the team, you have turned subjective feelings into measurable data. Encourage other people on the team to make statements, too.

best retrospective templates for sprint & project retrospectives

Reflecting on any challenges that acted as barriers is a great opportunity to peel back the layers and dive into areas that can be streamlined or reinvented in the future. Before you can dive into the nitty-gritty and get to work on identifying areas of concern, you must first review the facts and the project in its entirety project retrospective with an unbiased lens. Reviewing the scope and details will provide you with the insight you need to form your own credible opinion which can be shared with the intent to improve the project. Remote MeetingsTransform remote meetings into productive work sessions through collaborative agendas and time-saving templates.

project retrospective

This approach allows teams to become more effective over time by continuously making small improvements to their practices. Learn more about Agile project management, best practices, and tools. Scheduling time to reflect and assess the situation enables you to step back and examine things that are going well or maybe even elements of the project that need improvement. As soon as the collective team has identified areas within the project that need improvement, iterations can be made to redirect the project in a more positive direction. Great managers or leaders are constantly looking for ways to improve and iterate and you can’t strive for greatness if you don’t take the time to review or draw conclusions.

What Is the Purpose of a Retrospective?

Save time by using a collaborative retrospective template after your next project sprint. It lends structure to your feedback session, and will increase productivity by capturing feedback in a simple way that can be easily actioned. In a retrospective, the Gather Data phase may involve listing out all the bugs that came out in the previous two weeks or showing the burndown chart for the previous two weeks.

project retrospective

It is both a retrospective and futurespective as it asks teams to reflect back on the current sprint as well as look forward all at once. Running a sprint retrospective is a great way to establish a culture of transparency and continuous learning in your team. It is a dedicated space for open feedback, reflection and goal setting.

Action planning: identify specific ways to improve future work.

They help you to improve your team’s performance and deliver better results. The meeting aims to build a culture of continuous feedback and improvement, but the actual outcome will depend on how it’s run. Project retrospectives take place in a dedicated window of time where you can review a completed project and learn from both its successes and failures. It’s a great way for teams and organisations to improve their work going forward. Great project managers, team leads, and directors, always reflect on completed projects to conclude what went well and what can be improved. A retrospective meeting is a structured way of reflecting on projects and can help promote continuous improvement.

  • If possible, send out an email with the agenda and a reminder about the time the meeting will start one week before its date.
  • Parabol lets you build custom templates, so you can structure an online retrospective around a project timeline.
  • It lends structure to your feedback session, and will increase productivity by capturing feedback in a simple way that can be easily actioned.
  • They were able to provide emotional support and the team felt closer to one another.

Proactively remind your team members regarding what was agreed on in the retrospective and ensure that it is executed. Perhaps this was a project with a very ambitious scope that you managed to deliver on. Maybe you initially thought this was an easy job that would be completed far sooner than it was. Retros can be the perfect way to recap the entire process and help you better understand if your and your team’s prior expectations were accurate or not.

Lack of Follow-Through

Lessons learned meetings are the most flexible of the options we’ve discussed. They are an excellent way to gather feedback from team members and stakeholders and identify areas for improvement in future projects. Project retrospectives require team members to be vulnerable about failure.

In contrast to Objective Data, Subjective Data is sometimes referred to as “soft data”. And Subjective Data is just as important as Objective Data! Subjective Data includes personal opinions, feelings, and emotions on the team. Whereas Objective Data presents the facts, Subjective Data can reveal what your team thinks is important about the facts.

Activity: Constellations‍

The designer might have been sick for a day or two and missed out on an important meeting. In today’s business and technology landscape, change is pervasive. The retrospective method is effective because it helps a team adapt more easily and quickly to change. The nature of a retrospective as a blame-free exercise also contrasts with the goal of a post-mortem, which is to identify failure points. The latter often involves pinpointing the teams or people responsible for poor outcomes.






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