The drawbacks of skipping retros, having infrequent retros or not running them at all just cannot be emphasized enough.

There are especially 3 aspects you should be aware of if you are not running retrospectives regularly:

1. Time spent

The longer you wait before running a retro, the more time you need to set aside.

Why? 💭

Because the longer you wait, the more issues will have to be addressed and discussed. It's easy to jump to conclusions and find quick-fixes if time is limited. Issues might not be discussed as much as they should have been, and often result in low quality actions.

2. Memory

Normally we reflect on important events that happened the past week or month. The downside with running infrequent retrospectives is that important issues might get lost due to our memory.

What important events do you remember from the last quarter until now? 🤔

3. Too many actions

When there is long time between the retrospectives it is common that the group create more actions than they normally would..

..which makes very difficult to find time to complete the actions afterwards ⌛

You should be aware that it can be very demotivating over time if the team cannot complete the actions they set out to do.

We recommend:

  • Running retrospectives regularly, no less than once a month. The retrospective will be more focused, less time consuming, and in turn it is more likely that your team can complete a set of few valuable actions. Most importantly, you will be able to implement small changes continuously that will have a major impact in the long run!
  • Writing down notes while working to ensure that important events gets addressed in the retrospective.

PS: If you are running Agile methods you should at least conduct a retrospective at the end of each sprint. If not, you should try running retrospectives at convenient times that suits your team. Typically, this can be after a milestone, deadline or at the end of the week/month.

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