How to Create a Project Retrospective
If you have ever worked at an agency, you probably have experienced a client leave or consider ending the partnership. Clients go for many reasons, sometimes it’s due to monetary considerations, other times it’s due to a greater business challenge outside of our control. And sometimes, we’ve trained up the client’s internal team enough to take things in house - which we view as a positive at Seer! Regardless, if your client is calling it quits, and you’ve already explored ways to maintain them, check out our tried and true retrospective template to help your team reflect and learn for next time.
Before I go any further, I want to shout out our very own Jocelyn Chen for this template. She’s the brains behind this, and many of us at Seer have put this into practice for our own projects. Now, we’ve decided to share it with you!
What is a Client or Project Retrospective?
A client retrospective is a look back at your client project or events that took place over a period of time. Think of it as a way to learn, reflect and grow from your team’s approach, so that you and others can apply those learnings in the future. A retrospective will look to answer the following questions:
- What went well?
- What didn’t go well?
- What have I learned?
Seer’s Retrospective Template
The goal of the template is to create a documented guide that can be brought to future meetings, and passed onto others within your company. The finished product can take many forms, including a one-sheeter, or a completely built out presentation. You can make it as detailed as you’d like, but the outcome remains the same - what did you learn that yourself and others can apply in the future?
Links to relevant documents:
Guiding questions: Why are you writing this retrospective? What was your role? What additional context can you give? You may want to revisit this once you’ve completed the retrospective as well.
What Went Well?
Positivity is important. It’s healthy to celebrate our wins and recognize that there were good things that came out of this experience. This helps us highlight what we did well and figure out ways to keep that going. Think big and specific - talk about the project as a whole and dig deeper into the details, even the low-level ones.
What Didn’t Go So Well?
Reflecting on the past and what did occur is important. This is our chance to not focus on the solution, but identify what things happened that could be improved. We are trying to avoid judgement and bias around our preferred solution at this time by focusing on the facts.
What Have I Learned?
How can we improve the way we are working? How can you improve the way you are working as an individual? What could we do better to work as a team?
What Still Puzzles Me?
This is your opportunity to ask the questions that you wish you had answers to. Where is there a gap in our knowledge?
How to Use Seer’s Retrospective Template
Our retrospective template can be used as a reflection for yourself, your team, or your entire company on a project that has ended. Clients come and go, but how you as an individual on your team learn and make a change for next time is the most important part of a successful retrospective. If you don’t plan on changing anything, you’re missing the opportunity.
If you’re interested in being a part of our team and hearing more about our approach to clients, visit our careers page for open positions.