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Retrospectives, or what others might call “postmortems,” are an important tool in any company’s operational and cultural toolbox. These meetings allow teams to look back on projects, provide feedback on what’s working and what’s not, and align on ways to improve products and processes. As hybrid and remote work gained popularity, in-person retrospectives—traditionally involving team members writing ideas on sticky notes, adding them to a wall or whiteboard, and voting on them with dot stickers—have largely moved online, giving rise to a new set of tools developed to make facilitation easy.
We tested several retro tools with our own team at Charter during remote meetings across departments, prioritizing tools with anonymous voting capabilities to make the process more equitable for those who don’t speak up as much in meetings, or who feel pressured to agree with their manager’s views on issues. We found Parabol and EasyRetro to be simple to use for those new to the tools and process, fostering discussions that generated clear takeaways. Parabol has a better user experience overall, with playful but professional graphics and creative retro format templates, but is more expensive than the simple and streamlined EasyRetro, which offered boards in languages including Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian, German, and Polish. Read more about our process and picks at charterworks.com.
A lively, interactive interface that was easy and appealing to use by people with various technical skills put Parabol at the top of the list.
- Wide variety of creative retro format templates.
- Engaging graphics and colors that delighted the team
- May be a bit pricey for bigger teams.
With a simple interface that would fit more straight-laced business environments, EasyRetro won higher points on accessibility, with boards in different languages.
- Wide variety of retro format templates, including ones for UX design and user research reviews.
- Boards in languages including Spanish, French, Portugues, Russian, German, and Polish.
- More affordable for larger teams.
- Upvoting was a little confusing (do you use the emoji to upvote or the up arrow?).
- Less clear instructions/automated flow for facilitation, which means you’ll need someone familiar with running retros to lead it.
Read the full review at charterworks.com, including an explanation of our process, how we chose what to review, and a pricing deep dive.