It’s always appreciated when we get feedback from our clients; it’s their input that helps guide us as we learn, grow and evolve TeamRetro. Their stories are why we do what we do.

We are delighted to share with you this piece written by Caitlin Whittaker, Scrum Master who shares her experience of supporting and empowering happy, productive and engaged agile teams.

Overcoming the challenges of a global team, building consistency and cadence and having happy team members which boosts productivity are all part of the success points of this Scrum Master (and new mum!).

Whether it’s using AI features to create engagement, having a consistent tool to run health checks to get a sense of how the team is tracking, through to goal setting and running futurespectives, Caitlin helps her teams continuously engage, improve and feel good about the work that they do.

Choosing an online retrospective tool for global teams

The path leading to TeamRetro started when I needed a way to consolidate retros when my teams started expanding globally.

I was also looking for a way to easily implement a team Health Check on a regular basis so that we could monitor how the teams were feeling as we evolved as a company and product.

“Developers are some of the most highly intelligent problem solvers you will ever be fortunate enough to work alongside, and my one goal for all my teams is their contentment.”

As I was also about to take leave to deliver a mini human being, I wanted a solution that would allow my teams to maintain consistency and continuity.

I am not a fan of disruptions so having a solution where the teams could continue with all the prior history and action points already available and accessible was invaluable.

Creating happy, healthy and productive teams

Developers are some of the most highly intelligent problem solvers you will ever be fortunate enough to work alongside, and my one goal for all my teams is their contentment.

This may sound cheesy but it is the key to unlocking the greatest productivity in teams.

Happy, motivated teams are productive teams and also as a result long-term employees. Individuals and teams are most productive when they feel heard, understood and motivated which is why we hold retrospectives on a regular basis at the end of each sprint cycle.

Essentially the impact of retros in an Agile framework should lead to continuous improvement but this is hard to measure on a broader scale.

This is where I have found TeamRetro invaluable both as a tool to consolidate the retros from my teams and monitoring sentiment and the feelings of the team.

Using team feedback to improve team health

With TeamRetro, pain points can easily be identified. We can also see if this is a common theme across the teams and consequently a deeper underlying issue which needs resolving or specific to a certain team.

Improvements can then be monitored in the future to make sure that we’ve really made a change that is valuable or if we are not quite there yet.

As companies and processes evolve, there will always be areas which require attention and with TeamRetro we can consolidate all feedback and allow the teams to also be involved in constructive action points to move forward on.

Adaptable, fun, and open retrospectives and futurespectives

Because TeamRetro is so adaptable, I have also used it for goal-setting and ‘futurespectives’ for the teams.

Setting goals for what teams want to achieve in a certain time frame and keeping the action points visible so that we can focus on achieving, looking forward and committing to making it happen.

Using AI to generate retrospective themes

The new AI feature has also been fantastic in keeping retrospectives fun and open. Teams really enjoy coming into a retro where it is based on current affairs.

I have used themes such as Wimbledon, NFL and Barbie. Using this to create a more relaxed atmosphere has led to some very insightful retros and consequently positive change and improvements for the teams.

Thanks Caitlin. We wish you and your teams, and the new bub all the best. Thanks for sharing your story.

What is a team health check?

An Agile Team Health Check is like a checkup for a team to see how well they’re working together. It looks at things such as how they talk to each other, collaborate, and follow their Agile practices. The main goal is to help the team get better over time and make sure they’re on the same page with Agile values.

This checkup helps find and solve problems early, improves how the team communicates, and supports the growth of team members. Overall, it boosts team morale, engagement, and ability to adapt. It creates a culture of openness and flexibility, so the team can handle changes in the project and keep a positive and effective work environment.

What is a futurespective?

Futurespectives is a term used to describe a type of meeting where teams envision their future goals, outcomes, or scenarios. It’s essentially a forward-looking version of a retrospective, focusing on what the team hopes to achieve or what they see in their future.