We’ve all been part of quiet team meetings where the only person talking is the one running the meeting. With Parabol, we’ve included best-practices for getting your team engaged with the meeting – and each other – built right into the tool.
As a facilitator, you can get your team talking with an icebreaker question. Let Parabol randomly select a question, refresh if you want another option, or fill in your own question if you have something you want to ask. Our icebreakers are particularly powerful for remote teams who lack opportunities for casual hallway interactions to socialize and bond as a team.
If you’re not a fan of check-in questions or your team is already comfortable and chatty, you have the option to skip this part.
Parabol supports team members who are very independent and those with highly collaborative work. By running through their progress since the last team meeting, each team member can share their work, celebrate success, and spark questions for discussion.
Parabol automatically selects each member and shows the state of tasks assigned to them in a familiar Kanban-style board. Participants review what they said they’d do, whether it happened and why or why not, holding themselves accountable for their own work. Tasks in the ‘Done’ column are automatically archived at the end of the team meeting, clearing the way for the next cycle of work.
Team members listening to updates gain valuable context on what’s happening across the team and have the chance to add questions or topics to the agenda for further discussion.
In many top-down organizations, the leader is responsible for crafting an agenda for the team meeting – effectively deciding what the team will and won’t discuss. It also means leaders need to block out time to plan for the meeting. With Parabol, any team member can add to the agenda before or during the meeting, saving time for leaders and making it easier for everyone to raise issues.
The team meeting agenda becomes an opportunity to ask questions, get feedback and collaborate.
As the time goes on between check-in meetings, team members can always jump into their Team Dashboard and add an agenda item – giving them the chance to store a question and get it resolved later, rather than forgetting about it. Parabol’s agenda is perfect for those items not quite urgent enough to interrupt a colleague with an @-mention in team chat, but important enough that they shouldn’t be forgotten to discuss.
Once everyone has shared their individual updates, the team can tackle whatever topics are most relevant to the group that week.
Parabol walks your team through each topic, asking the person who added it, “What do you need?”. This lets team members explain what they're looking for - whether it’s sharing information, getting clarity on something, or reaching a decision.
At any point, the meeting facilitator can change the order of topics to make the conversation flow more smoothly or ensure the team tackles the most critical items first.
For each topic, anyone - the person who raised the question, the facilitator, or other team members – can add tasks, set their status and assign them to the right owner, moving the discussion into action.
When the team has run through all topics, the facilitator ends the check-in meeting and all team members receive a detailed summary. The email summary includes the number of tasks completed, agenda items covered, 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. Save time and effort getting everyone on the same page, and let stakeholders stay connected without taking up time in their busy calendar.
You can always come back to Parabol to see what came out of your past project or sprint retros.
Each team has a Kanban-style dashboard with the tasks that came out of previous check-in meetings and retrospectives. That lets team members keep track of how the team is progressing.
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.
After the sprint retro, most teams need to jump right into delivering the next set of deliverables. Luckily, you don’t need to jump between tools to bring the learnings from your retrospective into the place where you do work day-to-day – you can add takeaway tasks directly from Parabol into Jira or GitHub.
In most organizations, it’s rare for someone to participate in just one team. They may have a main team but also work in cross-functional project teams, they may work with contractors in ad-hoc teams, or they might be full members of a variety of teams across the organization.
In most task boards, seeing all tasks assigned to you across teams and projects is a complex task on its own, but with Parabol, it’s built right in. My Tasks shows all tasks assigned to a specific team member across all the teams they participate in. Team members can get a full view of everything on their plate, prioritize accordingly and stay personally accountable for their tasks.