"Retro" is short for; retrospective. If you are in Tech, I assume you already know what a retro is. If you haven't done retros before, you'll love them; they are a ritual that would most likely benefit you and your team regardless of your industry.
ShareFeels.io is not replacing the way you run retros. It's supporting the retro kick-off. It's a conversation starter tool.
I'll try to avoid jargon as much as possible and make it accessible to everybody. I want to encourage more people to run retros, not just Tech(Scrum teams).
So, what is a retro?
A retro is an informal meeting where teams come together to reflect on the last week, the last two weeks, or the last three weeks. Up to you how you want to divide your month. Let's call this chunk of time: a sprint.
- Reflect on what went well and what went wrong in the last sprint
- Voice concerns
- Let go of frustrations
- Team bonding: Increase transparency and trust in the team
- Agree on what to do to improve the next sprint
- Most important benefit: It provides closure for the sprint. You have the opportunity to learn from the past, leave it behind, and start fresh next sprint.
Challenges in retros:
- Hard to kick-off: Hard to remember what happened two weeks ago, and how that made you feel.
- The extroverts are more vocal, not leaving space for the others to express their frustrations, learnings, etc
- Hard to find something objective to anchor yourself in
How to use ShareFeels.io to eliminate these challenges
You can use ShareFeels.io weekly view to look back on your group's average weekly votes to help kick-off the retro.
A practical guide on how to use ShareFeels.io in retros:
- It would help if you had a moderator—Best to get a colleague from outside your group/team.
- Give the moderator the group's weekly report
- Ask the person to draw the weekly chart on a whiteboard. If you are doing the retro online, share a screenshot of the weekly view.
- Look at the team's mood across the week and take a few moments to reflect on what happened each day.
- You'll notice how this makes it easy to kick-off the conversation: "Last week Monday went well because ...; Tuesday didn't go so well because ...;" etc.
It's important to have the results somewhere visible, and not just the votes but also the bar charts. It's easier to visualise the impact of each day by looking at a chart.
You can take the conversation wherever you want as long as you keep it open, organic, and, most importantly: grounded in reality. The votes will anchor you and your team to something real; nobody can sugarcoat a bad week or downplay an exciting week.
The retro will close the sprint, leave it behind, and draw some learnings that you can use to improve the next sprint!
When's the best time for retros?
I prefer having retros on Fridays around 15:00. Leave the weeks' stress and emotional baggage behind and start your weekend in peace, knowing you will start fresh the next week.
Try it out. See how it works!