Today, I’m going to talk about three benefits to using retrospectives to engage your team. I facilitate retrospectives frequently with teams and have found a lot of times teams who are new to retrospectives will provide feedback and say “Wow, I wish we’ve discovered this sooner!” or “We wish we could do this more often!” 

So what’s a retrospective? Retrospective really is a meeting that is usually held at the end of a project where team members come together and they discuss what had happened, what are some changes they would like to make, prioritize those changes and then decide what they will do for the next project. We facilitate retrospectives regularly to make sure we really follow through with the things we want to make as a team. 

What are the things you might need to run a retrospective? Things that you would typically use during a retrospective are lots of post-its, whiteboard markers and if you don’t have a whiteboard you can use those giant sticky notes to put up on the wall.

What are the benefits to retrospectives?

One benefit I find for retrospective is it allows the team to get together. It’s a blameless exercise and the team gets the opportunity to come together and reflect on how their project went or how they worked as a team. Everybody is contributing.

It’s important to note that it’s not a manager coming in and dictating what they should or should not do. The manager’s role in this meeting is a facilitator of the meeting. I find this really helps in building psychological safety which is the number one attribute that’s really important for a team to feel engaged 

As well, it’s a good opportunity to give pause for the team to reflect. It’s common for teams to work on one project and then on to the next project and often, we missed the opportunity to take a log of how well we’ve done. It’s also a reminder to take the time to celebrate the team’s achievement.

There’s many different activities you can use to run a retrospective. I’ve done journey lines, constellation, and more and which ones you use depending on what result you’re after. Another one of my favourite is to use a retrospective format to run a team agreement meeting, something that is very useful when new teams form or when you want to restart a team.

Comment/email me and tell me: Have you run a retrospective before? How did you like it?



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