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How to Lead a Successful Project Retrospective Meeting

A great project manager will always want to reflect on any project after completion. It’s important to know what could do with improvement and what went particularly well. A project retrospective is a highly useful tool and can be valuable primarily to provide continuous improvement. Here in our article, we look at how one can create and lead their very own retrospective meeting for any industry, from no deposit slots to marketing.

What is it all about?

These structured sessions in the form of a retrospective can be done either through workshops or some meeting, giving team members the time to reflect, learn, and comment on a project. It is good for learning about successes and failures. It is not as important who is responsible for facilitating the sprint retrospective meeting but rather what can be learned in the end.

Meetings of this sort should be held to create a transparent and trustworthy working environment, providing a platform for your team to discuss areas of success and improvement with ease. This transparency will also help boost morale within your team, giving opportunities to give positive feedback and work on solving a problem together.

How to go about holding a Retrospective?

Typically, there are no right or wrong ways to hold meetings of this sort; however, there are certain things that work. Here we will explore standard project retrospective techniques and ideas that can be applied in general to many situations. In essence, this retrospective meeting should be a time for discussion and reflection on projects and should allow any participants to be able to do this freely. Let us look at some questions that could be answered in any retrospective meeting agenda.

What was the goal?

It is a great question, to begin with, because it shows the project’s purpose in a recap and makes everyone reflect. One need not make this part into a discussion necessarily. Participants should take the project’s plan and present its purposes, giving time for people to reflect individually on the project.

What happened during the project?

After looking at goals, one can start discussing what actually occurred during the project. It is also a time for thoughts about the initial plan and the way it took its course over time. This section of one’s retrospective need not require any discussion. This particular phase should be a place for presenting the project’s purposes and the project plan. There should also be ample time for everybody involved to reflect on why the project’s purposes were either fulfilled or not fulfilled.

Why did the project happen?

Discussion about why certain events in the project occurred is highly important. It’s good to focus on both the positives and the negatives, giving an overall critique. Any criticism needs to be constructive in discussions. Make sure that there is a safe space environment allowing everybody to share any opinions without judgment. Under no circumstances must your tailored meeting turn into a blame game and shouting contest!

What is going to be done next time around?

It is now a good time to reflect on the future and any plans there. This is a time for learning and gathering info on how to improve. One might say that this is the most important part of the whole retrospective, and it should certainly be given the most discussion time.

Conclusion: so there you have it, a comprehensive guide on how to get a retrospective meeting on the way. As a final tip, it is a good idea to get organized and set up a sprint retrospective template before a meeting is scheduled. It will help everything run smoothly for your event. Best of luck and we hope you come away with some constructive ideas.

Ever held your own meeting? Have you ever created a scrum retrospective template? We’d love to hear about your experiences. Please send us some comments below.

Author’s bio: Joshua Sherman writes for various publications, and blogs on subjects such as technology, IT and business management. Before he worked as copywriter Gerald worked for one of New York’s leading IT firms. Fun fact: he has a bee allergy, but one of his hobbies is beekeeping!