How we run remote retrospectives at Doodle

Doodle is all about making great meetings happen. We know that the perfect meeting requires everything in place: the relevant people, at the right time and location with all information available.  We are always on the lookout for new and better ways to meet up. That’s why we got excited when we found and tried the Parabol web app to conduct our remote retrospective meetings.

We run retrospectives to reflect on how we’ve been working together as an engineering team in order to make small adjustments so we can improve our communication and our team’s dynamic. We chose the Parabol app because it met some important criteria:

  1. Remote participation: We have offices in Berlin, Belgrade, Zurich and Tel Aviv. We absolutely needed a way for all of our team members to participate in the retrospective, no matter where they are
  2. Structure: we were looking for the retrospective tool to guide the meeting
  3. Action tracking: the retrospective app must capture and assign next steps to specific people

Plus, Parabol is just slick: after it collects responses to customizable prompts (like, “what is working on the team?” and, “where is our team getting stuck?”), participants group responses  into themes to discuss. With Parabol, everybody can participate in the grouping activity and see each other dragging the cards around in real time. It makes sorting fast and, dare we say, fun!

parabol gif

We also like that the Parabol team is responsive to feedback. Shortly after we signed up, we were in touch with the founders. We’re hoping they add a Jira integration (in addition to their GitHub integration), support assigning actions to more than one owner, and let the meeting leader see who hasn’t yet finished voting (so they can be prompted to get moving!) It’s great to have a direct relationship to give this feedback.

If you’re looking for a remote retrospective app, we suggest giving Parabol a try! Our teams hold retrospectives on regular intervals and you should too!

PS: and of course you can use Doodle to find the perfect time to meet for your retro 🙂

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