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The value of team feedback

Updated: Sep 20, 2023


This weekly tweak is part of our series to make work better together - get it direct to your inbox.



I’ll never look back (unless someone taps me on the shoulder or doing a retrospective).


With the pace of work these days, we often move on to the next thing before fully finishing out the last. Never mind taking the time to go back and analyse what worked, what didn’t, what did we learn, and what we bring forward from it.


Teams that don’t take the time to reflect on their work and outcomes, risk falling into a pattern of repeating the same mistakes and not improving their work as a team. They are jumping to the next thing, compounding a sense of overwhelm, missing opportunities to learn, and celebrate their successes, and missing out on the most valuable feedback mechanisms for teams that are often overlooked.


Retrospectives are a tool for teams to create their own feedback loop and intentionally practice continuous improvement (rather than just talk about it).



This week's tweak for better work is to plan and facilitate at least one retrospective


It's easy to get caught up in the cycle of moving on to the next task without taking the time to reflect on what we've learned and how we can improve. That's where retrospectives come in. A retrospective is simply taking the time as a team to reflect on the outcomes of a project, what worked well, what didn't work, and how to improve for the next time.


There are lots of retrospective tools available with a quick search online. Our absolute favourite is based on the 4Ls originally developed by Mary Gorman and Ellen Gottesdiener. We’ve changed it a little based on our experience in workshops and it is more like the 3LQR (rolls off the tongue 😆).

To make life even easier, we have created a template for Miro with instructions that you can download and use for your own use.



This is the online format on Miro, perfect for digital-first meetings, but the same principle and format can be used in person with large sticky notes, some Sharpie pens, and some wall space divided up with headings for each of the areas.


Retrospectives are a powerful tool for continuous improvement. They allow teams to identify areas for improvement and build on their strengths to achieve greater success. However, it's important to keep a few golden rules in mind to conduct a successful retrospective.


Golden rules of retrospective for feedback


No blame: a retrospective should not be personal. It's not about blaming individuals for mistakes or failures but rather focusing on objective outcomes.

Identify brilliance: a retrospective should not just focus on what went wrong but also on what was brilliant. Identifying areas of strength and building on them can lead to greater success in the future.


Quality over quantity: bringing 50 post-its to each section of the retrospective will flood the board. Ask participants to be discerning and chose their top 3 to 5 points to add to each section, being specific in their answers.


Regularity: conducting retrospectives regularly as a team instills a culture of continuous improvement and excellence. Therefore, it's important not to skip them and to make them a regular part of your team's workflow.



Let's make work better together.



Michelle Wallace

Founder

A Better Work

 

To download your Retrospective Miro Template and join the Make Work Better Movement, sign up below.

Let’s make work better together.


 

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