A retrospective with TeamMeter

Are you a Scrum Master or Coach and want to do a new kind of retrospective that brings your team really forward?
TeamMeter is a tool for continuous improvement based on self-assessments. In this article, we show you how to facilitate an effective retrospective using TeamMeter. 

Why a Retro with TeamMeter?

A retrospective with TeamMeter is another retrospective format and does not replace all team retrospectives, in particular the sprint retrospective. Many teams are stuck in the status quo and don’t see their improvement potential. TeamMeter lets teams take a step back and to focus on their development.

A Retro with TeamMeter is different each time.
In TeamMeter there is rotation of questions based on their priority and frequency. As a result, the topics that are discussed are the most relevant for the team and each time different.

When do a retro with TeamMeter?
It depends on your team’s maturity. We recommend organizing a retro with TeamMeter at least every 3 months. For young teams, we recommend doing it every two weeks. For a retro with 15 topics, we recommend to plan between 60 and 90 minutes according the team size.

Before your first Retro: Review of the assessment model

Before the first retrospective with TeamMeter, we recommend you customize your maturity model. The criteria are positive qualities that the team wants to achieve.

It’s important to discuss these criteria with your team to have a common understanding and agree which ones are relevant in your context.

Open the “Models” view and select your assessment model. Then click on “Edit”. You can also adjust the importance and assessment frequency of the criteria.

Edit of the assessment model to adapt it to your context

Review the last actions (5 minutes)

If it is your second retro, it is a good practice to look at the actions from the last retro before starting a new one. Go to “Actions” and review with your team the action items from the last retrospectives to update their status.

Survey (5 minutes)

A retrospective with TeamMeter starts with a survey to assess the criteria of the assessment model. In the assessment model click “Start Survey”.
For a retrospective of one hour, we recommend starting with 15 criteria. When the option “Start Retro” is checked, the participants will be invited to join the retro.
The criteria are sorted by assessment priority. To start the survey click on “Invite”. A survey link will be generated that you can share with your team.

Invite participants to the survey

While doing the surveys, you can see how many participants have finished the survey on top left of the screen. 

Participants assess each criteria and leave comments

Retro lobby

As you have started the survey, you automatically become the retro facilitator. When you do not join the retro, the first participant becomes the facilitator. When all participants have joined you can start the retro by clicking on the “Next” button.

The retro lobby with the participants

Voting (5 Minutes)

In the voting phase, each participant can vote for the criteria that he wants to discuss in the retro.
The criteria are split into 3 categories:

  • Disagreements: The criteria with a strong variance
  • Strengths: The criteria with 75% agreement and above
  • Weaknesses: The criteria with less than 75% agreement

Each participant receives a third of the number of cards as votes. So for 15 criteria each participant receives 5 votes.

Click on the time at the top left of the screen to set the timer to 5 minutes. You can see on the left bar how many votes the participants have used. Once everybody has used their votes you can go to the next retro step.

The voting phase in the retrospective

Discuss (40 Minutes)

In the discussion phase you will deal with the subjects sorted in order of priority according to the number of votes received. We recommend applying solution focus for your retro. This means that you will spend more time discussing the solutions than on the problems. 

For each topic, give 5 minutes to the team to make some action proposals. The action proposals from the participants are blurred to avoid anchor effect.

For each action proposal:

  1. Click on the three dots at the top right corner of the first action proposal and select “Highlight”. This will unveil and highlight the action for all participants.
  2. Let the participant present his action. Ask all participants if the action is clear enough and refine it when needed by clicking in the proposal text. Other participants may have proposed something similar, in that case take it into account in the description of the current action.
  3. Request the participants to vote for the action by clicking on “Vote” in the contextual menu.
  4. Add it to the list of actions by clicking on “Add to Actions” in the contextual menu if there are enough agreements. 

You can now go to the next topic by clicking on the right arrow.
In 45 minutes you normally have the time to speak about 2 to 5 topics, depending on the team size. 

Closing (5 Minutes)

In the Feedback step, set the timer to 2 Minutes to let the participants give some feedback.  When all participants are finished (green status), go to the last step to see the retro summary with all actions that you have decided.
As a last step, go to the team dashboard and show the radars with the evolution of metrics since the last retro. That is it! You can thank the participants for their efforts and close the retro.