Running Successful Remote Retrospectives

Product Management
Isabelle Berner
Director of Product

Here are some tips from our Director of Product, Isabelle Berner, on running remote retros. 


Isabelle’s favorite tool for remote retros:

Post Facto, free software from Pivotal (good for structured column based retros) 


Other recommended tools:

Trello, Whimsical, Miro (the latter two are whiteboarding apps). The nice thing about Whimsical and Miro is that you can do affinity mapping, which is great for large groups so you can tie themes together


A remote retro using Miro


Features to look for in a remote retro tool: 

  1. Ability to vote on things
  2. Ability for silent generation of ideas (people don’t see what others are writing, until they bulk publish everything at once)
  3. Ability to affinity map or group ideas by themes
  4. A place to capture actions


On Process:

  • Mix up the format of retros (that goes for both in person and remote retros!). Check out funretro.io for inspiration on formats to try.
  • No matter what format or tool you use, the most important thing is to do retros regularly and make sure the team feels safe having real conversations about improving how they work
  • To prime everyone in the room to be present, have everyone turn on their cameras.
  • For in person retros, we say no technology (no texting, no games) except for the technology which is required for the retro. The same rule applies for remote retros.


One aspect of an in person retro that’s harder to replicate in remote retros is the celebratory and team bonding moments. Tell everyone to bring a drink or a treat to the remote retro!

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