A Retrospective is a meeting format in the Agile Software Development world, which is a kind of structured/moderated feedback meeting after an iteration.
An iteration in software development describes a software development cycle.
Today all areas of business are adopting agile methodologies typically known for being practiced in software development. And marketing teams are no exception to that trend.
In a retrospective you typically ask the following questions:
- What worked well for us?
- What did not work well for us?
- What actions can we take to improve our process going forward?
In Marketing you do not have software development cycles, instead you can hold a retrospective
- After a campaign/project ended
- New tools/processes have been roled out
- A new team in place (client, agency, freelancers, …)
- After a marketing sprint
Keep in mind that a retrospective is conducted to evaluate your work from a collaboration and team perspective. You do not zoom in on the performance of a specific social media post or discuss the open rate of a newsletter.
To run a retrospective, a team needs to decide on the duration (usually between 1-3 hours), pick a moderator, and schedule a time that works for everyone. Ideally, when you start out doing retrospectives, it does make sense getting the help of a moderator who is used to doing this (like an agile coach in your company or network).
Now, with everyone doing this remotely, you need a tool that perfectly supports that.
And luckily, such a tool exists. I have been in a few retrospectives for ongoing marketing projects, and one tool that was used heavily by my clients is Metro Retro.
At first look, it might look to you like every other whiteboard app. The difference is that it is made specifically for the use case of conducting retrospectives.
To get started, you can choose from a broad set of templates.
Usually it works like this:
- You pick a template
- The moderator sets a timer
- Attendees add their thoughts on post-it notes
- Moderator asks each participant to ellaborate/share the thoughts
In Metro Retro, all features needed are accessible in a toolbar on the left.
Per default, newly created post-it notes are hidden and only shared if you “unhide” all created posts. This way, your colleagues and you work silently on your thoughts and do not get distracted by looking at what others write. You can see that others create post-it notes and that they move them around, but you can’t see the content until the moderator asks you to unhide your notes.
Other notable features:
- Share a retrospective with a direct link to jump into
- A timer to stay focused
- Build your own retrospective template in build mode
- Download data as a CSV or JSON file
Keep in mind that Metro Retro is only the app for collaborating on the board. Your team does still need to get on a call.
The goal of a retrospective is not only collecting and discussing your feedback but agree on concrete action items to improve your team’s work going forward. If you have never run a retrospective, I can highly recommend it.