Another Take at Distributed Retrospectives

Some time ago I’ve wrote here about a small distributed retrospective that we have done in one of my last projects. While it was effective at the time, I’ve recently been in a distributed project for longer, and had the opportunity to learn another lesson from Herry.

In our project together we had a team divided between Melbourne and Xi’an and have been running retrospectives every two weeks. To avoid the common problems of distributed retrospectives, our team was using a simple format that worked (and is still working) quite well.

  • We began by having a 5 minutes chat with the whole team present and setting the goals for the meeting
  • The teams would then go into a 15 minutes offline mode, where they would raise and vote for the topics they wanted to discuss separately
  • After the initial voting, we would normally pick the 2 most voted topics on each side and discuss them all together.

While it seems quite simple, the separation for the voting and initial exchange of ideas makes the the retro feel much more focused and better than other distributed retrospectives I have previously attended, and definitely a format I will keep using for distributed situations.



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