Before we dive into how Stormboard can help you run your Retrospective meeting, we need to establish what a Retrospective actually is and how it can help your team be more agile.

What is a Retrospective?

A Retrospective meeting (or Retrospective sprint as it is sometimes called) is a step in the Agile model that allows for teams to take an overall look at what they have done over a period of time — a week, a month, etc. — to determine what’s working for them and what’s not.

Note that even though a Retrospective is technically part of the Agile model, anyone can integrate a Retrospective meeting into their workflow! The process helps you improve problem solving, get tasks done quicker, and allows for everyone’s ideas to be shared. “A great retro is one where everyone’s voices are heard equally” (source).

The Retrospective, which is often moderated by the designated Scrum Master (aka team manager or leader), is a great way to focus your meetings. This is traditionally done using a board and sticky notes where team members can place their ideas in different categories, resulting in things getting done more efficiently.

How does a Retrospective work?

While a Retrospective can be conducted in different ways, one of the most commonly used formats is the Start, Stop, and Continue method (source). Just as the title suggests, this format allows teams to write down and verbalize what ideas they want to start adding into their creative process, what ideas they want to stop using, and what ideas they can continue working with.

Once everyone’s ideas are up on the board, the team can then vote and decide on the most important ones to focus on and move forward with, and what can be saved for later.

The Start, Stop, and Continue is a great basic way to perform a Retrospective, but there are a variety of formats that can be used to make it work best for your team. It’s a flexible way to take your meetings to the next level.

Why is the Retrospective method successful?

  • Meeting organization

Having Retrospective meetings is better for overall organization. Teams will know what to expect, and ideas are to the point and focused — unlike traditional meetings that don’t have a set agenda or a system in place.

  • Sharing made easy

Typical meetings can lead to people talking over one another, and ideas not being able to be properly heard. With a Retrospective, everyone has an equal opportunity to share ideas, no matter how small. Sharing an idea on an organized board (virtual or otherwise) is fast, to the point, and keeps everyone focused in the same direction.

  • Worry-free documentation

Retrospective meeting sessions are documented and can be easily accessed at any time, especially If done on a digital platform like Stormboard that saves all of your teams’ work in one secure place. Recording ideas is the best way to keep track of what’s been decided and what is still ongoing. That way, there is no confusion during future Retrospective meetings, and teams don’t have to waste time going over things that have already been discussed.

  • Streamlined process

Traditional meetings aren’t usually very streamlined — which is where a Retrospective differs. It provides a streamlined meeting structure and decision-making process that allows teams to seamlessly navigate what isn’t working for them and what is working well.

  • Goal-oriented meetings

Ultimately, the Retrospective meeting is perfect for those who aspire to be more goal-oriented. With the straightforward Retrospective templates, it’s easy to get an entire team to align their goals towards ideas that will move their projects forward.

How to use Stormboard to perform a Retrospective

While traditional Retrospective meetings can be a good way to increase productivity, it can be improved even further by using Stormboard’s digital meeting space.

With Stormboard, co-workers can contribute to a meeting no matter where they are, with the ability to edit and share in real-time with the entire team. Team members can then vote on ideas while in the Storm, making it easy to see which ideas should be acted on. Meeting minutes and presentations can be created using the Stormboard Reporting feature. Using a digital platform also allows for a team’s work to be documented and saved, allowing you to pick up right where you left off during the next Retrospective.

The best part of using Stormboard for a Retrospective is our four ready-made, Retrospective-focused templates including Retrospective Basic, Retrospective 6 Sections, KALM Retrospective, and Simple Retrospective. These templates provide digital meeting spaces tailored for all kinds of different work styles.

To find the right fit for your team, once you have signed up for an account, create a new Storm, select ‘choose template’, and type ‘Retrospective’ into the search bar. Our four Retrospective templates will appear for you to choose from (see image below).

To make it even easier to organize your work within the templates, sticky notes and other posts can be customized with different colors and shapes. Simply click on your sticky notes and a menu will pop up where you can change their appearance. To select a wider range of colors, font size, etc., click the Setup button at the bottom of your Storm and select the Styling tab (shown in image below). Customizing your Storm is ideal for making Retrospective meetings more organized.

Stormboard’s Retrospective Templates:

  • Retrospective Basic: This template is our version of the Start, Stop, and Continue method. It includes three sections – Stop doing this, Start doing this, and Continue doing this. The three sections make it easy for your team to look back at the end of the Agile process and make decisions.

 

  • Retrospective 6 Sections: For this template, six sections are ready to go for your team to start planning, including: More, Less, Same, Frustrating, Enjoyable, and Puzzling. It expands on the basic Retrospective format by giving more specific sections to explore. This template is great for those teams who have a lot to discuss and need to delve deeper into their ideas.

 

  • KALM retrospective: KALM stands for Keep, Add, More, Less. With the four sections included, this template lets teams pick what ideas to keep, what to add, what they want more of, and what they want less of.

 

  • Simple Retrospective: Similar in design to the basic, but even more simplified. Two sections are included in this template, ‘Stop doing this’ and ‘Start doing this’. It’s as easy as it gets for your team to break ideas down.

With various templates, customization, and accessibility, Stormboard makes switching over to a Retrospective approach as seamless as possible for your team, no matter how many people are involved.

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