How to Conduct a Post-Pandemic Retrospective

This year’s Retrospectives are critical because of the ongoing pandemic and the turmoil it has caused. Maybe your Organization went back full-time to the office, or has adopted a hybrid model of working. Or maybe you have an empty office sitting out there. Now is a great time to inspect, adapt, and analyze what’s been working and what can be improved in 2022.

Get ready to do the retrospective

Before you even dive into conducting a Retrospective, you need to determine when, where, and how you’ll do it. Will it be in person with your Team? Virtual over Zoom? No matter how you do the Retro, you want to make sure you have the proper tools—MURAL works great virtually, and Post-It notes are our favorite in-person tool.

When starting a Retro, we use the STOP acronym—Stop, Take a breath, Observe what happened in 2021, and Plan for 2022. 

STOP

It’s important to carve out time in the middle of your chaos to sit down for a few minutes to do a Retrospective. It may seem counterintuitive to pause your work when you’re busy, but this will help you inspect, adapt, and move forward more productively. You can do this monthly, weekly, or daily.

TAKE A BREATH

Consider your surroundings as you’re doing a Retrospective. Are you somewhere where you can focus effectively?  Things like location, sound, smells can all positively or negatively impact your mood, and therefore your retro. 

OBSERVE WHAT HAPPENED IN 2021

There are many ways to do an effective observation. You can use the traditional Sprint Retrospective where you go over what went well, what didn’t go well, and what you’d do differently. 

This step is especially important this year, since there were so many pandemic-related struggles. Take a good look at what went well and what needs improvement in the coming year. Is your Team happy with their current work situation? Do you need to go back to working remotely? Cancel your office lease? Upgrade your technology so the Team can effectively work?

PLAN FOR 2022

Planning for an entire year all at once can seem daunting, so we break it down. Create a one-year plan with some key objectives, and then break that down into some tangible 90-day Rocks goals that help you achieve your objectives. Having an accountability partner to meet with either weekly or monthly throughout 2022 will help you too.