All Activities Retro

A simple framework to look back, course-correct, and re-engage your team.

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Ashley Faus
Content Strategy Lead


The most important aspect of this meeting is the meeting memo. This way you don't spend half the meeting briefing one another. Here is what you need to include in every board memo:

  • Each team leader writes their own section, no more than 1-2 pages summarizing the state of the business. Introduction, things going well, challenges, plans for the future, update on items from last time. These sections can contain graphs and charts.
  • The CEO summarizes and provides a narrative at the beginning of the document.
  • The VP Finance attaches the financial statements and key reports
  • The team circulates the narrative with the board ahead of time. Board members comment and ask questions as they read. The team clarifies points and provides analysis where necessary.

Take stock of the work you performed

Take stock of the events and work you performed. Ashley recommends using Trello. Pull up the calendar view and have each team member make sure that all of the projects they worked on over the previous quarter are represented. It should take about 10 minutes to add all the items to the board.

Label with feelings

Once the team is on the same page and you have a view with all the projects, have everyone go through the ones that belong to them and label it with a feeling. You can start with 5 basic feelings and expand as needed: 

  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Frustrated
  • Proud
  • Indifferent

Review for each team member

Take 15 minutes to go around the room or conference call and have each team member talk a little bit about 2-3 key projects and why they assigned them a certain feeling. It sounds kind of touchy feely, but it’s actually really helpful when you look back over a quarter and you can identify places where you should allocate time elsewhere.

Brainstorm action items

Last but not least, take the last 20 minutes of the meeting and spend some time brainstorming how you could allocate tasks a little differently to maximize positive sentiment across the team. If Tom is stressed out working on user-facing projects and doesn’t enjoy it, maybe there is another team member who is energized by similar projects. Managers should run this discussion, chew on the feedback, and think about action items going into the next quarter.

How to use this template

Retrospectives are a well known part of the agile methodology, and commonly scheduled after a big project to reflect and learn from what can be improved. In this template, Ashley takes a different view. Atlassian's All Activities Retro takes a more human approach to check-in on the team, to take stock of the work performed, identify feelings towards that work and brainstorm action items to improve team engagement moving forward. It's a health-check that not only ensures better performance next time around, but a happier, more engaged teams.

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