In the old days of sticky notes and whiteboards, agile leaders had to research different formats for sprint retrospectives to keep meetings interesting and engaging. With Parabol, that research is built into your meeting tool.
As a facilitator, you can run an engaging and fun retro by selecting from our pre-configured templates of popular project retrospective examples. You can edit the templates for a fully-customized experience or create custom retrospective formats and share them across your organization.
Regardless of which you chose, you have the option of starting with an icebreaker round to get everyone warmed up and ready to give feedback.
Great sprint retrospectives happen when team members freely offer their feedback to one another. To encourage everyone to speak openly, unlike other tools, feedback added in Parabol is anonymous.
Team members will see a frenzy of activity that encourages them to jump in and can join confidently. Keeping reflections anonymous empowers team members to share more and share a greater diversity of feedback, so you get a more complete picture of your agile team.
Whether your team is co-located in one office or distributed all over the world, Parabol supports your way of working.
In real-time, you can synchronously go through each phase of the sprint retrospective, and even set a timer to keep your meeting on track.
For asynchronous collaboration, you can set a time limit for completing each phase, and even send a Slack notification to let your team know how long they have to add feedback.
Traditionally, after gathering reflections, facilitators would group these into topics, using just their judgment. This left other scrum team members disengaged or even missed some of the essential differences between their input.
With Parabol, the whole team participates in grouping and ungrouping reflections. This multiplayer drag-and-drop feature allows everyone to address concerns, discuss subtle differences, and overall make sure their voice is heard.
Once you’ve identified themes, team members vote on which topics matter most to them. By default, everyone has five votes and can vote up to three times on one issue. Facilitators can customize these settings to fit their team's needs for each sprint retrospective meeting.
Like adding reflections, voting is anonymous in Parabol. That means the loudest or highest-paid person won’t sway the perspective of the team, so you can see what matters most to the group.
With the top themes decided, Parabol walks your team through each theme and the reflections that led to it. This guided discussion lets you drill deeper into each topic, and determine what actions you want to take away from your retrospective into your next sprint.
Parabol organizes discussions based on which topic got the most votes. You and your team can choose to go through all the topics, set an amount of time per topic, or pick the top themes - Parabol even lets you rearrange them and tackle them in any order you wish.
Once you end your retro meeting, all team members receive a detailed summary. The email summary includes the number of reflections, topics, and tasks that came out of the meeting, who participated, and what takeaway tasks each participant owns.
The summary also goes out to team members who missed the meeting, keeping everyone in-sync, even when it’s async.
You can share the summary with others across the organization, or export your learnings as CSV to analyze trends, upload them into another tool, or share with another group.
After the sprint retro, most teams need to jump right into working on the next set of deliverables. Luckily, you don’t need to jump between tools to bring the learnings from your sprint retrospective into the place where you do work day-to-day: you can add takeaway tasks directly from Parabol into Atlassian Jira or GitHub.
You can always come back to Parabol to see what came out of your past project or sprint retros.
Each team has a dashboard with the tasks that came out of previous retrospectives and meetings, and each team member has an individual dashboard for all the tasks they own. That lets team leaders keep track of how their scrum or project team is progressing, and team members stay personally accountable for their tasks.
Even if work is being done in a variety of other tools, you can use this central hub of meeting takeaways to make sure you’re continuing to check back on what you’ve learned and continuously improving.