A retrospective can be used either by a team or any other group of people. The structure and form of this event will try to motivate all participants to contribute and engage.

1. Triggering a retrospective

There are two possible ways to notify members when you want to start a retrospective event:

  1. Administration pages, by clicking the "Start a meeting" and then selecting "Retrospective". This will open a form to select retrospective members or teams.
  2. Through integrations:
    1. Using Slack, initiative by typing '/retrospective' slash command in your channel of choice.
    2. Using Microsoft Teams, type '@Team O'clock retrospective' in your team channel. All participants will be personally notified to join by Team O'clock bot.

When you are done triggering a retrospective, a unique URL is created for that meeting and participants can join using that link.

2. Setup your retrospective

The first participant entering the retrospective page has some options to set it up:

  1. Choose activity, by clicking on the 'Choose activity' dropdown located on the left side of the top bar. Navigate the available activities select the one you prefer and click the 'Apply' button to update the retrospective board.
  2. Adjust Votes & Notes, by clicking on the option on the right side of the top bar. Options include maximum number of votes per participant, anonymity on votes, hidden votes while participants are voting as seen on the image below.
  3. Customize your board, by manually setting up the board. You can modify both columns and swim lanes and set custom names for each. All custom retrospective activities are automatically stored and are available when you click the 'Choose activity' option.Board customisation is available for Standard and Enterprise plans only, read more about board customisation.

3. Start the retrospective

When all participants have joined the retrospective page and you are done setting up the retrospective you can click the 'Start' button located on the top right corner.

The layout focuses on the board areas where members are adding their notes. Each board area has a title with a description below, so that you can understand what notes should be added on that board.

Before the retrospective starts, you can see who has joined the window via the online section on the bottom left.

In order to coordinate with your remote team members you can use the Chat feature to exchange quick messages, located on the bottom right of the retrospective window.

To use a video conference with your remotees you can add a Video Call URL from the settings next to the 'Start' button.

This input is available to all your team members and anyone can setup the Video Call URL.

Video Call URL is always visible on the bottom of the page in the middle.

After everyone is online and the video conference has been setup, a team member can press the 'Start' button.

4. During the retrospective

On the header bar you will also see the four distinct steps of the meeting:

  1. Gather notes, where each participants is privately adding notes to the retrospective.
  2. Groom notes, where all notes are revealed and the team can edit, group or delete notes and all unknowns are discussed and clarified.
  3. Vote notes, where each participant can vote the notes that finds more important.
  4. Discussion & action items to speak more about each note and conclude to some action items that will help participants move forward as a team.

Also, the meeting timer starts and is visible right below the main header bar. Hovering your mouse over the current step Title you will see how much time you have spent on that step.

The retrospective event does not have a specific or suggested duration. A proposed time span is 2 hours.

Gather notes step

During this step all participants add their notes in the respecting board area. Other people's notes are obfuscated in order to avoid bias.

To add a note in a board area click on the the "+ Add a note" link.

To move a note to a different board area simply drag and drop it.

You can edit a note by hovering on the note and clicking the "Edit" option that appears on the right side of the note. Use this to change board area for a note. Deleting the whole text will remove that note.

Groom notes step

On the grooming step, all notes are revealed and the team can group or delete duplicate notes as well as discuss and edit the notes that require more clarification.

To group notes simply drag the duplicate/similar note over the note you want to group it by.

Grouping notes is only allowed in grooming notes step, so if you are on a following step and want to change notes grouping you need to navigate back to Groom notes step.

After this step, everyone should have a clear understanding of the board.

When everyone is done and clicks the "I'm done" button, the event moves forward to the "Vote notes" step.

Vote notes step

The main purpose of this step is for participants to vote on the most important notes.

Each participant can cast a specific number of votes (3) by clicking on the "+" badge next to each note. The votes you have voted are marked with a different color so that you can instantly tell your votes. To revoke a vote click again on the voted note.

In case of grouped notes, team members can only vote the parent note.

In this step you can still add and edit notes as the retrospective discussion moves forward.

Again when everyone is done and clicks the "I'm done" button, the event moves forward to the "Discussion & action items" step.

Discussion & action items step

This step focuses on exploring actionable items on the voted notes.

The main area changes again to hold the list of all your notes sorted by votes in one side and an Action items list where you can add your action items and review any action items that are not complete from your previous retrospective meetings.

We are suggesting reviewing and completing any previously open action items before adding any new. Participants will feel positive about work and actions they already done before committing to new action items.

If at any point you want to edit or revisit your notes you need to click the "Return to board" link.

It is recommended to add less than 4 action items, so that participants can focus on taking action and not get intimidated by the number of things that need action.

5. Completing the retrospective

When you are done with your action items each participant can click the "Finish" button to complete the retrospective meeting.

When the meeting finishes, all participants will receive an email containing the decided action items and all the retrospective notes.

6. Restarting the retrospective

In case you want to restart the meeting you can do so from the options dropdown next to the main action button.

When a retrospective restarts all previous notes are lost!