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Monthly Retrospective Plan

We hold a retrospective each month, to see how we are doing. We started with the standard retrospective template, but over time we’ve added some of our own components. Here’s an idea of what it looks like currently. We usually spend a whole day on this.

Plan (15 min)
Since we don’t have an external facilitator, we usually spend 15 minutes at the start agreeing the plan for the retro. We often browse through books or online to find new exercises to try.

Measure (15 min)
Similar to gather data, we update any metrics we have with the latest figures, like books sold, or revenue generated. We also look at the action(s) we agreed last month and confirm if they were done or not.

Assess (45 min)
Based on the information above, and other input like how we feel or significant events in the past month we assess where we are and how we think we are doing.

Brainstorm (45 min)
Similar to generate insights, we brainstorm new ideas. We like to use different questions here to help us come up with lots of ideas, even crazy ones. For example: What would we NEVER do?

Decide (45 min)
Similar to decide what to do, we now look at all the ideas we brainstormed, and decide which we want to do this month. We try to only pick one major item, but occasionally we pick two if we have the energy for both. Once we’ve decided what to do, we craft a metric to be able to tell if the action had the impact we expected.

Plan (45 min)
After deciding what to change for the month. We plan the upcoming month. This includes scheduling recurring tasks like blogging or newsletters, as well as deciding who we will meet with in the month, which days are client days and which are in office days, and when our next retrospective will be.

Cleanup (60 min)
We find that it’s a great way to get energised for the new month to spend an hour or so cleaning up our space. So after planning we cleanup our desks, putting away stationary that seems to accumulate over the month. Cleaning up our taskboard and getting rid of old tasks. Updating any story maps or other big picture visualisations we have.

Celebrate (as long as you like 🙂
After all that deep thinking we celebrate, usually with a glass of wine, but you could have a meal together or even do something fun like play a game.