Retrospectives at OfficeLuv

We begin each development cycle with a retrospective session (retro), reviewing the past cycle and taking note of what went well and what can be improved. We also may conduct one-off retrospectives at the conclusion of a large epic or new app release.

We all participate in retros to encourage reflection on our own process, our effectiveness in responding to customer and internal feedback, and the sustainability of our patterns. Retros are the opportunity to bring up issues with or ideas for our current development process. It is also the time to discuss methods and mediums for receiving feedback from customers and from our teammates at the company.

We will often assign documentation or research tasks to team members as a result of a retro. This may include things like adding documentation to a public or private repository, leading an internal research phase, gathering additional data, or meeting with other teams to implement a new workflow.


The topics we discuss in retros vary, but we keep a set of headings in our notes document to guide our discussion. Each retro begins with us copying down these headings into a new section of our document to be filled in.

Timestamp: We mark the date of the retro, along with the cycle name and the name of the current scribe.

What Did We Do?: We reflect on the major features, bugs, infrastructure, documentation, or research in our work in this cycle. Summarizing this here allows us to look back at any cycle’s retro and see what was happening at the time.

Feedback: We note down any feedback received by our team, either on the product or on our process. Noting these allows us to better identify patterns over time as well as across channels.

Interesting Data: We note down any interesting data pulled during the cycle (for business reports, for infrastructure metrics, for customer usage, etc) or research conducted. These data points allow us to check our current context against previous decisions’ data.

Takeaways: We reflect on the above and generate actionable notes for the team going forward. These sometimes yield tasks for team members to follow up on (documentation, tests, research, etc). (Read some examples.)

Wins: We reflect on what went particularly well this cycle. Whenever possible here, we name the team members involved to best recognize and encourage great work.

One Word: Each team member thinks of a single word (adjective, adverb, etc) to describe their personal experience of the cycle. At the end of a quarter or year, we use these for fun reflections (like a word cloud!).

These headings have evolved over time and we will add or remove headings as we evolve.


We each take turns playing the roles of: