Introducing Retrospectus.com

Jul 02, 2012
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We are very proud to introduce to the public a tool that is very helpful to us at Crowd Interactive:

Retrospectus.com

logo

Retrospectus is a web application for creating online retrospectives, a very common activity in Agile methodologies and software development.


What is a retrospective?

Our definition is:

A Retrospective meeting is a simple way to analyze the past, and plan for the future.

According to the Wikipedia:

A meeting held by a project team at the end of a project or process (often after an iteration) to discuss what was successful about the project or time period covered by that retrospective, what could be improved, and how to incorporate the successes and improvements in future iterations or projects.

From the "Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great" book:

Project retrospectives help teams examine what went right and what went wrong on a project.

So, we have 3 columns and that is where all stories go. The nature of each, defines which column to use. We have set Retrospectus.com to have 3 icons, which relate to emotions: What made you happy?, What confused you? and What made you sad?

One person might have the same story, so to save time, they can click on the +1. The counter will show the added numbers. But, if by any chance, one of the team members writes down a story that is pretty much the same as another one, the Admin (creator of the session) can drag those similar stories and bundle them into one. The app will add the +1's and will show a total count.

After doing this, the whole team reviews the stories, analyzing details and if there is a need to create an Action Item, you can click on the "Action Items" tab, and create one and assign an owner after that.

You can use the e-mail to a friend functionality, in order to have all the participants on the same page. Easy!


Enough theory, how was Retrospectus built?

We developed Retrospectus.com using modern tools, frameworks and methodologies:


Some screenshots

I invite you to start using Retrospectus right now… it is free after all :)

This is the public retrospective we created after MagmaRails to receive feedback from all conference attendees:

retrospective

You can see how people are telling us what they liked, what was confusing for them and what needs improvement.


Here you can see all of its authentication options:

sign_in

We aren't storing any user password, we use Google Apps as our main provider, but allow also Twitter, Facebook and GitHub authentications :)


This is the Dashboard you will see after signing to the application:

dashboard


And finally, after you've received some feedback, it's time to generate Action Items:

action_items


Conclusions

As you can see, this is a simple interface tool that allows the users to quickly understand how it works, and it can also become a great tool for Project Managers and Team Members that need to follow up on Action Items.

Please use it and give us feedback! We are still working on a lot of features, and we would love to hear what you think so far.


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