Remote Retrospectives

Of course, the best retrospective meetings are done face-to-face using real whiteboards, post-its or other physical objects to help teams collaborate, focus and discuss.

Yet, given the current challenging worldwide remote working situation because of COVID-19, this is not always possible.  With Apptio Targetprocess you can capture your team’s feedback and resulting action items remotely, without needing to spend money and time on learning other tools.

Remote Retrospectives Overview

The Team Iteration (a.k.a the Sprint) serves as the parent entity holding all the work items, in which we create a new Retrospective entity.

The Retrospective entity will contain the Feedback and Action Items.

The Feedback items are used to capture the thanks, thoughts, opinions or things to discuss that team members care about. Just a title is usually enough, but visuals can also be attached like with any entity in Apptio Targetprocess.

The Action Items represent things that you want to improve on and which can be connected as a reference for future follow-ups to another Team Iteration, usually one that represents a future Team Iteration.

Next, there is functionality on the Retrospective item that allows you to perform a remote happiness score check.

Apptio Targetprocess Entities for Remote Retrospecives
Overview of relevant entities for Remote Retrospectives

Retrospective Check-in

A common retrospective check-in activity is to measure the individual and average happiness score of the team and to briefly discuss any outliers. 

Once all the scores are in, the session facilitator can click “show results” and the individual votes, as well as the team’s average will be displayed and can be discussed. When applied, the results will be stored in a comment on the retrospective item for future reference.

Collecting Feedback

When it’s time in your retrospective to collect feedback from the team, point them to this board that you’ve set up previously. Any team member can easily add their feedback to the board using the quick-add functionality in any column. After each team member has provided his/her feedback or the set time is up, the board will reflect collected team responses and eventually look like this

Organize Feedback into Action Items

Next, you can switch to the “Feedback to Action Items” board to create Actions Items from the collected feedback and link them to each other.

Plan Action Items for Follow-up

As a team you decide which Action Items to pick for the next iteration or to keep for a future reference. Here is how you link a selected Action Item to a respective Team Iteration. A good retrospective is made up of much more than just this. But from the perspective of feedback collection and Action Item creation, using Apptio Targetprocess is as simple as that.
Apptio Targetprocess Custom Feedback
Create a custom field on the Feedback entity to support any group of categories

Future Enhancements & Configuration Options

In the example above we used the configuration for the common “Well, Not Well, Idea” retrospective feedback categories. However, in a similar way you can use “Mad, Sad, Glad”, the Starfish categories “Start, Stop, Continue, More of, Less of” or any other you prefer. Just add more categories yourself by creating new custom fields in the Feedback entity you use for a retrospective.

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