At the end of last year, I did two massive retrospectives for Romanian IT (2019, and since inception) and a personal one (private).
For the personal retrospective, it was the second time in a row when I did it. The first time I did it, at the end of 2018, it was super hard, and it felt like a huge chore. This time it felt a bit easier, and I had more of a put together process to lean on.
The 3 retrospectives I did got me thinking about the power they give you, as the person performing them.
Journey to finding retrospectives
There’s a ton of literature on journaling, on making lists, following up and looking back on quarters, years, months, days, whatever works. Unfortunately, for the longest of time, I thought that was mostly self help bullshit and avoided it like the plague.
It was only when I started running teams in a business setting that I discovered that Agile/Scrum can be applied for Marketing and PR, and that was my gateway to retrospectives. If you run sprints, at the end of them, usually, people spend time looking at what worked, what didn’t and what can be improved in general. This is how you spot overloads, missed goals, successes and opportunities for growth.
Back then, I didn’t pay it enough attention to formalize the process in writing, but I stuck to it religiously. I took it with me in every team that I build moving forward, in the past 3 companies. It allowed our work to focus on the right goals. It also allowed us to spot communication issues early, adjust and improve.
Seeing the power of looking back
Fast-forward back to present day. I didn’t expect what the 3 retrospectives would give me. If you read my previous piece on the imposter syndrome, you know that’s a struggle for me. I also have a few strategies for it. Retrospectives turned out to be one of them.
See, if you’re like me, you moving fast, with little time to look back. There’s very little time to look back and celebrate success or be grateful. Retrospectives give you that and more – if you take the time and go through every day, and every thing that you did, and allow yourself to relive those moments, at the end of it you might find that you did do all that you set out. And more than that.
That’s an incredibly empowering feeling, and it’s remarkably easy to do now, thanks to Google Calendar.
Try going through it 12 months ago and move forward. It’ll surprise with you what you’ll find in there!
Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash