After you ship your product, or finish an important milestone, it's natural for your team to sit back and reflect on what happened. Did everything go according to plan? Were the estimates right? Is there anything we could have done better? Did our customers like the product?
A retrospective meeting is an important step in continuous improvement, and it should be held every time you conclude a milestone. Done right, a retro can be extremely productive, helping your team identify problems, discuss solutions and come up with new ideas on how to make future releases even better.
How to plan for it
Set a meeting agenda. An agenda gives people a sense of what they'll be talking about and lets them know what to expect.
Get a facilitator. A facilitator can keep the meeting moving and on track.Give everyone involved floor time. Each participant has a unique perspective to share.
Allow time for discussion. The value comes from the discussion and dialogue. Don't just dump a bunch of statements into a meeting.
Don't let one person dominate the discussion. Give each person equal time. If one person dominates the conversation, it may put the others on the defensive and makes it difficult for them to contribute.
A retrospective doesn't have to be a formal, hour-long meeting. You can hold a retrospective anywhere — anytime.
Get started with this template
- What went well?
- What did you learn?
- What needs improvement? (i.e it went wrong, it wasn’t delivered or didn’t go as expected)
Follow this best practice
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