Introducing Team Radar Retrospectives in Retrium

Published November 8, 2018 by Niki Kohari

Not surprisingly, we love to talk to people about retrospectives, and we’re a bit obsessed with making them as effective as possible. We’ve heard from customers that great retrospectives are those that can engage the team, maintain trust and psychological safety, and allow everyone to equally share their perspective.

During our conversations, we also hear stories of retrospectives that haven’t gone well, and one of the issues that comes up all the time is that retrospectives can become stale.

If team members get bored or retrospectives feel monotonous, this can get in the way of gaining new insights and discussing the most important topics. Because variety can help keep things fun and engaging, we’re excited to talk about the newest additional to Retrium, Team Radars.

Team Radar Retrium

We’re the only product out there with this unique take on retrospectives. The capabilities of the Team Radar can’t be duplicated in spreadsheets, collaborative documents, or using an online cardboard because of the unique way we gather responses and display the results, so your team will definitely enjoy a fresh retrospective experience in Retrium.

 Why Team Radars?

To date, Retrium has included several column-based techniques, like Stop, Start, Continue and Lean Coffee that are considered to be best practices for retrospective meetings. We even have an option for custom retrospectives that teams love to use. However, all of these options use a similar format.

The Team Radar is a popular technique among Agilists and a great addition to our toolkit. If you’ve never done one before, it’s a great way to try a different take on gathering data.

What is a Team Radar Retrospective?

Radars help teams compare individual numeric results on a variety of categories, and they are a transparent and quick way to understand where the team agrees or disagrees about a topic. They can be used alone or in combination with a column-based retrospective, so the possibilities are endless!

 

Running a Radar Retrospective with Your Team

To use this option, you just have to select one of our six Team Radar techniques. This will start the retrospective for your team, and they can add a response as to how things are going in different categories. All you need to do is be sure that everyone has the same definition for the labels on the radar before you begin.

Collecting Data

Each team member can then add their responses to the spokes on the radar.

Team Radar Retrium - Collect Data

Radars in Retrium are far better than those done using flip charts and markers. Because responses can be collected at the same time, there’s no groupthink and regression to the mean, which can be common when responses are drawn one at a time. This also means that responses are anonymous. We also take care of all the analysis, again saving you a ton of time and allowing you to focus on discussions that generate insights and action.

Exploring the Results

Once everyone has shared their feedback, you can move on to the analysis phase and see the results.

Team Radar Retrium - Analyze Data

We do all the work to plot the individual responses and calculate metrics like the average, standard deviation, and much more. This saves teams a ton of time, especially with larger groups. Use the box at the top to explore the results or turn on and off the plots using the legend.

Determining Next Steps

From there, your team may want to discuss the results with questions like:

  • What interesting points or patterns are visible on the radar?
  • What is surprising or unexpected?
  • What spokes warrant further feedback, discussion, or clarity?
  • What spokes do we want to highlight or celebrate?
  • What spokes warrant improvement, action items, or other next steps?
  • What information should be shared with leadership or other teams?
  • What trends have we seen over time in our radars?

Once you’ve talked through what you see, you might consider using a column-based technique to dig into a topic further. You can run one of our standard techniques like mad, sad, glad, or stop, start continue on the specific spoke. Another option is to do a custom retrospective with one or more spokes as the column headings. To learn more about running a Team Radar, check out our help documentation.

Want Help?

There’s more information about the Team Radars on our documentation site. Additionally, we’re here to help, so please reach out to support@retrium.com if you have questions or feedback.

This is the first of many unique options for retros, so stay tuned!