What is a retrospective?
Retrospectives (or “retros”) can be a great tool for reflection and evaluating the success of a project. Marketing has borrowed the term from agile/scrum processes, where retrospectives are held at the end of each sprint.
Goals for a retro
- Collaborative learning. If things went a little sideways, a retro is never a finger-pointing or blaming exercise. We may disagree, and that’s okay!
- Get feedback from all the people/teams involved in the project (marketing, design, engineering, product, etc.) on how we can work better together
- Evaluate the project or campaign against stated goals
- Consider if it influenced other, sometimes unintentional, areas. For example, the goal may have been to sign up more trials, but it may have generated more interest (or questions) from current customers.
- Document the project for learning, future goal-setting, and to educate new team members as part of a historical record, making it easy to answer “how did that one project back in 2017 go?”
- Walk away with takeaways and learnings that will influence the next project planning cycle
Types of retros
There are many retrospective techniques:
The basic retro template follows the simple “What Went Well? What Didn’t Go Well?” format, but you’re welcome to explore others, or combine them as it makes sense!
It’s never too early to start a retro for a project or campaign. For instance, you may be a week into a project when you recognize an opportunity to streamline a process. That’s a great time to start jotting down notes and insights so we don’t forget them along the way.
There are different techniques for holding a retrospective. We may want to hold a Zoom meeting and bring the team together to discuss it. Sometimes an asynchronous retro via Google or Paper doc and/or Slack channel may be appropriate. I've also used a tool called in the past, which automates this process and is kind of fun to use.
- Every campaign or project should have a retro, even if that’s just a few bullets
- The driver is responsible for setting up and running the retro, whereas the project contributors are responsible for, well, contributing.
- [via Retrium]
- [via ]
- [kanban format via Trello]
- [via CoSchedule]
This template lays out two types of retrospectives. Feel free to choose one or the other, or blend the two together.
A quick recap of the goals, objectives, or key targets/KPIs for the project or campaign along with any Mode dashboard screenshots, etc. Did we meet our goals? You can also provide a summary of how we achieved qualitative objectives (like wanting to improve or establish a process).
What worked well? 💪
Celebrate the success!
What was tricky? 😵
Any gotchas we didn’t anticipate or challenges along the way?
What can we improve on? 🛠️
What would we do differently next time?
Warm fuzzies 🌈
Celebrate and give a shout-out to folks who were helpful along the way.