Successes teach us to do more of what we did well next time. But we can often learn even more from failures: maybe one small tweak could have saved the entire effort. In any case, as decades of experience have shown, continuous process improvements sustainably increase quality and productivity.
This principle is as true in user-experience design as in assembly-line manufacturing of automobiles. To keep getting better, we should periodically reflect on our methods.
Use this Playbook to identify how to improve teamwork by reflecting on what worked, what didn’t, and why.
We recommend running a Retrospective with your team every couple of weeks or at the end of a project milestone.
For remote teams, start by creating a new collaboration document. For in-person teams, find a whiteboard or large paper, and set out Post-It notes and markers in a meeting room. On the page, board, paper, or whiteboard, create three columns with the headings “What we did well”, “What we can do better”, and “Actions”. If possible, get a neutral third party to help facilitate the meeting. This will encourage greater participation and uncover more insights.
Don't make it personal, and don't take it personally. Listen with an open mind. Remember that everyone’s experience is valid. Set the time period you're discussing (last sprint, last quarter, entire project, etc.). Focus on improvement, rather than placing blame.
What we did well: Using either a digital whiteboard or a physical one, have each team member write down what the team did well, one idea per note. Post the notes, and group similar or duplicate ideas together. Discuss each one briefly as a team.
What we can do better: Have everyone write down what they think can be improved, one idea per note. Post the notes, and group similar or duplicate ideas together. Discuss each theme as a team. If the discussion is dominated by one or two people, the facilitator should step in and call on others before moving on.
Actions: Brainstorm actions that can be taken to improve problem areas, one idea per note. Post the notes and group similar or duplicate ideas. Discuss each idea as a team, and assign owners to these actions and due dates as necessary.
Not sure if this is the right Playbook for your team? With LEON, our algorithm recommends exactly the right Playbook, at the right time, to the right team, to be more effective and drive well-being and performance.
These Playbooks range from adjusting workload and schedules, to exercises for improving team grit and alignment, and everything in between.
No matter how your team is scoring, we’ll provide data-driven recommendations to support their most pressing needs.