Run an engaging Retrospective meeting with your team to capture what you've learned.
Retrospectives help your team:
We set out to help people like you facilitate better agile retrospectives that let your team reach their potential.
Let's take a look at how it works!
Parabol’s online Retrospective Meetings are like a digitally-coached mini retreat.
Our software guides your team to surface your teammates’ recent experiences, group them into themes, and develop an action plan, capture learnings, and make improvements.
A meeting summary is generated automatically and all new tasks are captured on the team’s dashboard or processed during your team’s next Check-In Meeting.
Parabol leads your team through 5 simple rounds to ensure that your agile retrospectives are a transformative and user-friendly experience, whether you’re in the same room or scattered around the globe:
|1. Icebreaker||build awareness of teammates’ personal context|
|2. Reflect||share anonymously what did/didn’t work, for you|
|3. Group||review Reflections and discover common themes|
|4. Vote||select which topics deserve the team’s attention|
|5. Discuss||create an action plan for how to improve|
Everything starts from the Meeting Lobby, and at the end of the process, we send out a Meeting Summary. Let’s get started…
Parabol Retrospective Meetings are led by a meeting leader, called the Facilitator.
Any teammate who clicks "Start Retrospective Meeting" from your team’s meeting Lobby becomes the Facilitator for that session.
Try rotating the Facilitator role each meeting. It’s a low-risk way to develop leadership skills among teammates
The Facilitator can be changed during a meeting by clicking on any teammate’s avatar in the upper-right corner
As the Facilitator advances the meeting, each teammate is given an opportunity to answer a randomized Icebreaker for the meeting.
What it sounds like: If the Icebreaker is, “What has your attention today?” responses might be:
👨🏿💬 “I’ve got a sick kid at home, I might have to stay on Mute”, or
🙋🏻♀️ 💬 “I’m on deadline, I’m really frazzled today”, or
🙎🏽♀️💬 “I’m excited for my anniversary dinner plans tonight.”
This is each teammate’s opportunity to share their personal high/low moments and observations from the previous period of work.
Over the course of the Retrospective Meeting the source of each Reflection card is never revealed, and, during this phase the text itself remains private to encourage full disclosure.
The Facilitator offers a time limit for writing down Reflections, and all teammates contribute their individual thoughts.
What it sounds like:
This phase is for individual contributions to the board.
The card text from the previous phase are revealed in this phase and the team works together to group them into related themes to surface trends.
Read each card carefully and drag them into piles to group them into themes.
Teammates should work simultaneously to make new groups, like a multiplayer video game.
You’ll notice that the software’s AI suggests titles for clustered cards, but you can edit these titles to better describe the trend.
What it sounds like:
👩🏽 💬“I’m seeing a lot of reflections talking about our customer experience, shall I group them under ‘onboarding’ or is there a new group that’s needed?”
Feel free to discuss among your teammates to generate clarity, within the agreed time limit.
This process tends to have a natural arc of activity and closure, but feel free to set a hard time limit as-needed.
Actively encourage all teammates to participate and ask clarifying questions
Get involved! This process is intended to be real-time, multiplayer, and fun.
Call out if you need clarification on a particular card’s content. The author may choose to identify themselves and clarify, or they may choose to remain anonymous
If you see a card of your own that has been grouped under a theme that feels “off”, feel free to edit/expand the title to clarify your intent, or re-categorize entirely
Each teammate has 5 total votes, and is able to vote up to 3 times on any single topic grouping.
The outcome of this voting phase will prioritize the following Discussion phase.
Spend your votes on the items that you want to spend time discussing as a group. The items you vote on should be the items that produce the most tension for you.
What it sounds like:
This phase is for individual contributions to the board. Discussion comes next.
The list of up-voted topics will be revealed in the left navigation, ordered by number of votes received.
Your team may choose to spend time discussing all the topics, or only those that generated the most “heat”, or only as many as can be completed in a specific time period.
You may also click-and-drag on topics to reorder and discuss them in any sequence you wish.
The Facilitator advances through each topic in turn.
The discussion is open, but the Facilitator should encourage the group to ask itself why and get closer to the root cause of the reflection cards.
The Facilitator can always ask, “what could we do instead, next time?” to prompt the team to suggest individual tasks.
The closing screen of the Retro Meeting process is a simple Summary of who attended, what was discussed, and the next steps for each teammate.
After all agenda items have been processed, the Facilitator will advance to “End Meeting”, which automatically generates the Summary view.
This Summary is also automatically emailed to all teammates, including any who were unable to attend.
These emails are a simple, informative artifact of a team’s progress, which can be saved or forwarded to any interested stakeholders.