Agile Retrospectives Using Trello

As a distributed agile team working from Paris and Beirut, remote retrospectives are part of our rituals.
To conduct these remote retrospectives, we have settled on using Trello.
My colleague BOURGAU Philippe has blogged on what we tried and how we ended up by opting for Trello.
Since then we have made some improvements on speeding up the meeting preparation, and I think it’s time to share them.

As you might know, retrospectives activities are recurrent, it’s not unlikely to redo the same activity a couple of retrospectives later.
So it was natural for us to start creating boards to be used as templates for the activities.
These boards served as a starting point when setting up a session and were improved continuously.
So how is this used practically ?
In our case, a facilitator is responsible of preparing and animating each session.
When preparing the session, instead of creating each activity board from scratch, the facilitator had now a catalog in which he could choose the activities.
All he had to do is to copy the board, give him a specific name and share it with the team.
Each board contains a short description of the activity, and a suitable setup to conduct it.
In reality the facilitator still created boards from scratch, but only when no template was available.
But now, instead of doing it only for his session, he took the time to first create a template and then copy it into his session.
This way he would have contributed to the enrichment of the catalog and facilitated the preparation of upcoming sessions.
We’ve been doing this for quite some time and I think it’s worth to share it with the agile community.
We’ve learned a lot form others’ experiments and it’s time for us to contribute back with what we experimented.
I’ve started publishing some of the templates I made to the Agile Retrospectives space, it’s a public Trello team. As I’m writing this post, there are six published templates. I’ll soon be asking other contributors on the team to share their work too, so stay tuned for more templates.
I hope you will find this useful for your retrospectives, and if you do use a template and have any improvement to make, don’t hesitate to join the team.