TUTORIALS & HOW-TOS

Automate Your Retrospectives with Parabol Tool

Tired of spending a lot of time preparing your retrospectives? Finding it hard to put some structure to the meeting and group the topics for a productive discussion? I’ve got a solution for you — Parabol tool for seamless agile meetings. You will feel like the tool is facilitating the retro for you and all you need to do is to press “next”.

Automate Your Retrospectives with Parabol | Step-by-Step Tutorial

Tutorial series

Welcome to a new series where I will share some quick tutorials & how-tos to make our agile lives easier. And I want to start with the retrospectives. Like me, you probably spent quite a bit of your time preparing the retrospectives, postmortems, or any other meetings where you discuss improvements. It can be daunting at times even if you keep using the same 3–4 retrospective templates over and over again. I’ve been there myself.

This easy tutorial can be of especially great value to all those roles that unlike Scrum Masters or Agile Coaches have little time to put a lot of preparation into the meeting structure. I get asked by Product Managers, Team Leads, and Engineering Leads about some easy tools for retros and today is your day!

Automate Your Retrospective Cover Photo Agile State of Mind

Structure against chaos

We all know that for this kind of meetings we need to have a structure in place. Otherwise only the loudest team members will state their opinions and you’ll have to navigate through awkward silences or just a pure chaos.

What’s more, retros help build the team and empower them to change what is not working for them. I’ve recently read on The Pragmatic Engineer’s blog survey results showing:

“Teams with no autonomy to change a failing project management approach recorded low satisfaction [at their job].”

We all want people to feel good about their work, don’t we?

Automation FTW

In today’s video I am going to show you a new tool that I just discovered, called Parabol, that fully automates the retrospective for you. Don’t you just love the sound if it? Automated retros! It has a very nice look and feel and it’s, easy to use. I also find it fun as it incorporates optional warmups for each meeting and even has a chat to record any conversations during the meeting. All you need to do is just to click “next”. Magic, right?

Screenshot of the Parabol.co tool
Parabol.co tool

In case you want to learn more about the retrospective structure and the why of things, go ahead and refer to my video about the retrospective structure. I explain here the “why” behind all the steps based on “Agile Retrospectives” book by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen.

I explain the how-to of doing a retrospective with Parabol in the video shared at the beginning of this article. I am using a free version that allows 2 teams with unlimited meetings.

I hope this short tutorial will help you improve your retrospectives and create an actionable plan for improvement.

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Maria Chec

Maria Chec

Agile Coach and Content Creator at Agile State of Mind https://www.youtube.com/c/AgileStateofMind and Head of Agile Practice in Fyllo