How often do you find yourself showing up to retro where team members scramble to remember what they worked on during the sprint? Even when people are able to remember some details, there is often a recency bias. The latest work or problems tend to appear as the most important, often overshadowing everything else that happened during the sprint.
There are many software solutions for running retros, but they all fail to understand how teams operate. In order to continuously add retro feedback to a standalone website, a person has to break their normal workflow. More and more teams are moving to slack, where a majority of their conversations take place. It has become a critical tool for teams and part of the normal workflow. Many users have Slack on their phones, allowing people to capture ideas when they come to mind, rather than waiting. Teams often have their own channel that are a perfect place to aggregate retro notes throughout the sprint.
While there may be other tools for running a retro, and many teams are still fond of a classic pen and paper retro, there is still something critical missing. These methods may capture the ‘features’ of a retrospective, but unfortunately all of them suffer one or more of three major inherent flaws, which completely stunt their effectiveness. One of the major reasons for having a retro is to improve your process, so why not set yourself up for success by improving the way you improve that process first.
The three major flaws we set out to fix with Retro Rabbit are the following:
- Recency bias and imperfect memory 🤔
- Discomfort raising the important issues 😶
- Remembering logins and websites for yet another tool 🤯
In all the other tools and strategies for running retrospectives that we found, none were actually solving all these issues, so we saw an opportunity to build a retrospective tool that could provide more value to teams than ever before. Here are those three issues, why they are important, and what we did to fix them.
Recency Bias and Imperfect Memory
People are inherently bad at remembering stuff. Most people don’t even know what they had for lunch yesterday, but you will remember a problem that occurred earlier that day. So how are you expected to remember everything that happened during the course of a sprint? Additionally the pressure to remember details during a retrospective further hinders participation, because everyone is solely focused on remembering, rather than discussion. By tracking ideas in real time, your retro can become what is was meant to be, retrospection not remembrance. Using Retro Rabbit teams are able to continuously submit notes for their upcoming retrospective from day one. This effect multiplies for scrum masters, who are expected to remember what occurred each sprint across multiple teams.
Discomfort Raising the Important Issues
Every person should have a voice during a retrospective. They say a great team should be open with each other and communicate directly, but in reality some people are more vocal than others, while those shyest members of your team may feel anxious to share in front of their peers. Even worse, the well respected or extroverted people on the team are biased to get more agreement with their ideas if people know it’s their idea. Anonymity can be a powerful weapon online. In the case of Retro Rabbit, this weapon is only used for good. We believe that allowing for anonymous note submission allows every voice on your team to be heard equally and fairly. No one is excluded.
Remembering Logins and Websites for Yet Another Tool
They say a tool is only as good as the person using it, but a tool is also only good IF a person uses it. Other tools with features like asynchronous submission of notes still suffer from recency bias because people forget to use it. Busy teams don’t always have the patience to log into another tool just to enter in a note, they just convince themselves they’ll remember it later, and go on with their busy day. For Slack users, it’s a major part of their workflow. Slack users are in the app dozens of times a day, meeting with their teams, getting important build notifications, and checking for updates from their phones, that adding to the retro is just a few simple taps away.
A key part of the retrospective process is to improve how your team works. Retro Rabbit removes barriers that occur during retrospectives, by preventing them before they can ever occur. Teams no longer need to sit in silence during retros wasting precious time, just to remember what happened over the course of the last sprint. There is no more need for the hesitation of less outgoing team members to add their thoughts. Everyone’s idea is valuable, so make sure every voice is heard. Making team members remember an external website and also asking them to frequently break their workflow to add notes can be detrimental to your team’s success. Retro Rabbit is here to solve these common issues. Come join us on your path to better retrospectives.