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10 Scrum Retrospective Tools for Distributed Agile Teams in 2020.

10 Scrum Retrospective Tools for Distributed Agile Teams in 2020.

2020 brings some new Scrum Retrospective tools for software development teams to try out. We have collected a new top 10 list of tools for Agile teams…

Retrospect.team

Retrospect is a simple, real-time Kanban Collaboration Tool created by us, Krazier Inc. It’s easy to create a board, share it publicly or privately with your team members or friends, add cards and take action. Retrospect offers 6 default templates to choose from, including a 10X Planner for your daily life. One unique feature of Retrospect is that it offers you the ability to use Markdown within each Card, allowing for styled content that’s easier to read and understand. 2020 will bring additional improvements geared toward teams.

Cost: 3 Free Active Boards / $4 per month upgrade.

Outro

A retrospective is a candid, team-wide discussion about how the team is doing, both the accomplishments and the challenges. When done right, it creates more effective, more close-knit teams. Outro was created in NYC by Taylor Crane & Danny Pirajan. They have hosted retros weekly since 2011 (across many teams), and have seen over and over again the positive change it creates. This compelled us to turn what we love about retros into a beautiful product for any team to use.

Cost: 4 Free Boards / $10 per month upgrade.

Retroly

A fun simple tool for agile retrospectives. Retroly is a tool for teams that want to flourish and have impactful retros every single time. It helps improve remote or co-located teams improve their performance with retrospectives.

Cost: Free During Beta.

Sprintlio

Sprintlio is a powerful and intelligent retrospectives tool built to seamlessly fit between Slack and Jira for modern agile teams. Agile, Scrum, Kanban, Lean, Agile-ish, Waterfall – if you run retrospectives, this is the tool for you.

Cost: 30 day free trial / $25 per month

Metro Retro

Metro Retro is a free web app that helps teams run productive, engaging and fun retrospectives. It uses real-time updates, adaptable templates and a quirky sense of humor to riff on the classic paper based retrospective but taking advantage of modern tech!

Cost: Free

Neatro

Neatro helps your team grow with a selection of effective and industry-proven retrospectives. Whether you’re leading a remote or in-person retrospective, pick the activity that matches your team’s context. Create action items and assign owners in realtime.

Cost: Free During Beta.

bttr

The agile retrospective tool. Organize your retrospective in an efficient manner. Constantly collect feedback. Focus on important topics. Improve sprint by sprint.

Cost: 1 Board Free, 10 Boards 25

Parabol

Parabol is a free, open-source web app for running engaging & effective retrospective check-in meetings that can run in realtime or asynchronously. Integrations with Atlassian Jira & GitHub and forwardable meeting summaries make follow-up a snap.

Cost: Free for Personal, Unlimited $6 per month

Self-Retrospective

Self-Retrospective. Do a self-retrospective to create a plan for improvements in different parts of your life. Get an email after a selected time period to track and improve your personal development.

Cost: Free

Team O’Clock

Empower your team for happiness. Focus on your team’s improvement and alignment by following well structured meetings for retrospective and daily stand-up. Interested? Keep reading.

Cost: 1Board Free / $29 per month “Starter” / $69 per month “Standard”

Makers, we are far more Mentally and Physically hurting than we realize.

Makers, we are far more Mentally and Physically hurting than we realize.

Mental and Physical health is becoming a common discussion point among Indie Makers and Entrepreneurs. As someone who is an entrepreneur working in both the Online and Offline environments, I wanted to offer my unexpected experiences in my mental and physical health.

To give you a bit of foundation, I should probably give you some background on my entrepreneurial life…

The Past Decade

Starting back in about 2008 I “officially” became a full-time freelance designer and front-end developer, I ran my own company, found my own clients and did 90+% of the work myself. I loved being at the computer, often starting my work day by 9AM and working until 1 or 2AM with breaks for lunch, dinner and a bit of family time. I almost always had “just enough work” to pay my bills and while I could have been doing a lot better, I thought I was living my dream and that true “success” was simply a matter of time and energy.

In reality, looking back on that time period of my life I have come to realize my excitement, passion, sleep, health and relationships were all gradually suffering and getting worse as the days and years went on. At the time, I simply felt the way I felt like because that’s how work is supposed to feel like as a freelancer. Grind until you succeed, at all cost.

During the middle of 2018 I decided to go to the doctor (after having not gone to a doctor in 10 years for a general checkup) because my knees were in constant pain (I have always had bad knees, but this was different) and being only 37 at the time it didn’t make sense for me to feel like I was about 70. To my surprise though, in general I was actually pretty normal. There is nothing structurally wrong with my knees, they mostly just need to be strengthened and some physical therapy. I weigh more than I should and have high cholesterol, but nothing that was unusual, especially for someone who basically sits around all day. In the end, my doctor told me I need to find a way to get more active.

2018

After meeting with my doctor and realizing that I basically hated doing design and development work and then quite abruptly getting let-go from the company I was working full-time freelance for. At first I tried finding a new full-time job, but had no luck at that. Then I decided to try getting back into the independent freelance world again and having my own clients, but after 6 months of basically no work I started crashing mentally and financially.

I was extremely stressed, irritable, short-tempered and not fun to be around, plus I was getting drastically deeper into debt and had about a weeks worth of money left. I was at the end of my rope, had exhausted all my resources and struggled to understand why I even wanted to continue doing design or development work anymore, I didn’t really like doing it, hated it in fact.

During August and the beginning of September of 2018, I decided to focus on what my doctor had said to me… “Get more active.” At that point I decided to 100% quit trying to find and push my design career, it simply wasn’t working and I simply wasn’t passionate about it anymore. Instead, I changed my focus to finding a job that was drastically different from what I had been doing and one that required me to be active again.

I had a few requirements that I outlined as things that would be optimal for being happier again…

  • I didn’t want to work for someone else.
  • I needed something that was flexible. (I still had a few freelance clients that needed my help, I wanted to be able to take my kids to school and pick them up everyday, I needed to be able to take time off whenever I needed to work on my startup projects and other things.)
  • I needed something that was very low cost to setup, remember, I was broke at the time.
  • I needed something that required minimal training or experience as I needed to be generating revenue quickly and not spending time learning.
  • I needed something with low overhead and minimal equipment.
  • I needed something that didn’t require me to work in the evenings or weekends so that I could spend more time with my family.
  • I needed something that got me away from my computer for most of the day.

It took me a while to finally figure out what I wanted to do, but as soon as I did, everything fell into place very quickly. On September 11th, 2018 I officially registered my new company “Wild Fox Painting, Inc.” a house painting company. I had finally found something that I had previous experience with and met all the requirements I outlined above.

End of 2018

Fun fact, in general, starting a new painting company at the end of the year is a pretty terrible idea. Turns out, in November and December a lot of people stop working on their houses and focus on holidays with their families, who would have guessed?

Fortunately, I landed a few quick jobs from some friends and other referrals and was able to at least have some revenue coming in the door. And landed a big, well paying job at the end of January which really started to set things in motion.

 As I started 2019 I had some pretty simple goals for the company…

  • First was to do 52 estimates or an average of 1 per week. I figured if I won a quarter of those, I’d be able to survive my first year.
  • Second was to NOT be like many of the other painters in town, I’d focus on quality, customer service and not sub-contracting every job out to someone else.
  • Lastly, I wanted to focus on in-person networking and relationships.

Dude, I thought you were going to talk about Mental and Physical health? I am, I’m getting there…

2019

I’m not going to get into a lot of details about 2019, I’ll save that for another post. I did just want to highlight that I was able to meet and exceed all of my goals I had set, which has allowed me to finally see that I was more mentally and physically screwed up than I thought, here’s how…

With the success of my first full year, I have been fortunate enough to have the ability to take all of December off from painting this year, in fact I took half of November off as well. I’m literally more stable after one year of painting, than I have been in 10 years of freelance design and development work. This kind of blows my mind.

We are now in the middle of December (the 18th to be exact) and over the past couple weeks I have noticed something that has led me to writing this article…

I have realized that I hate that I’m not painting right now. Wait, what? Who hates time off and not having work and stress? As I look at it though, it actually makes a lot of sense and here’s why… I’m rapidly falling into my old habits and issues that I thought were “no big deal” before…

  • While painting, I was regularly going to bed around 11PM and was able to fall asleep quickly and slept well and could easily wake up around 7AM without an alarm. Now that I’m not painting, I’m going to bed again at 1AM, it takes me an hour to fall asleep, I don’t sleep well and I struggle to wake up by 8AM.
  • While painting, I was only at my computer for 2-3 hours per day. Now, I’m on my computer for 10-12 hours per day.
  • While painting, I was happier, had more energy and enjoyed spending time with the family. Now, I’m constantly tired and want to take a nap everyday, I have minimal motivation, I’m more stressed and family time (get’s in the way).
  • While painting, I managed to completely cut out coffee which helped reduce the number of headaches I had, it also saved me a lot of money and boosted my energy. Now, I drink coffee everyday again, I feel like I constantly have a headache and I feel more sluggish in general.

Every positive effect painting had on my life the first 10 and a half months of the year have all reverted back to where I was at prior to painting, all within less than a month. I thought I’d really enjoy my time off (which I have to an extent), but the negative effect it has had on me though has been shocking and opened my eyes to just how bad I truly was when I sat at my desk all day, didn’t exercise and rarely interacted with people in the real world.

Long story, short…

I had always assumed I was getting by “just fine” for the past 10+ years as I worked in the freelance and maker world. I saw other’s having breakdowns, or stress or every other issue you can think of, but no, not me, I don’t have any issues! Turns out I was simply too close to what I couldn’t see, I glossed over and ignored my issues and myself and everyone around me suffered for it.

Conclusion

Slow down for a day, get off your devices, grab a notebook and spend some time really evaluating your life, goals, emotions, actions, friendships, family and health. Stop thinking you are “perfectly fine”, I’m not sure anyone is perfectly fine and most people can’t even see the obvious issues in their lives. You aren’t as stable as you think you are, find your vulnerabilities and start working on them, today.

As for me, I don’t know if I will take a full month off again next year. If I do, it will be filled with travelling or something more interesting than sitting at my computer each day. I’m by no means done figuring things out, it’s a constant battle and requires constant evaluation day-to-day, and week-to-week. I can tell you though, I’m excited about the future and this new outlook on my mental and physical health! 

10X Planner Template

10X Planner Template

Today we excited to launch our first new Board Template since the site went live, we are adding in a “10X Planner” board template to help you schedule your day and reach your goals.

What is a 10X Planner? It’s a daily planner created by Grant Cardone to help you to be 10X more times productive by scheduling your day into small, obtainable goals. If you are interested in a non-digital version I’d suggest going to his site and buying his hard-copy version. Visit Site… (We are not affiliated)

👊 Retrospect.team is a simple Kanban styled Retrospective Tool for teams to quickly collaborate on post sprints and project feedback.

The screenshot below shows what an actual 10X Planner looks like in printed form, we have taken this format and matched it as closely as possible to achieve the same effect…

It’s super easy to create your first 10X Planner on Retrospect…

  1.  Create an account or login at https://www.retrospect.team
  2. Click the Plus (+) in the header or click on “New Board” from your “My Boards” page.
  3. In the “Create New Board” dialog, enter the title of your new board, we suggest using the current date so you can keep them ordered nicely for reference later.
  4. Select “10X” Planner” from the “Template” drop-down, and click “Create Board”
  5. Then simply start editing all the cards to fill in the details you need for your day.
  6. Done!

Create your first 10X Planner at Retrospect.team

The screenshot below shows what a blank 10X Planner Board looks like. From here, you can edit each card and in your tasks for each time range, enter your goals and other Journal entries, and when you are done with each card, simply move it to the “Completed” column so you can keep track of where you are in your day (Or if you like the format, just delete the Completed column and leave the cards where they are now.)

If you don’t have any private information on your daily plan, you could consider sharing the board for others to see what you accomplish each day and get support from your friends. Simply use the “Shareable Public Link” option under the “Visibility Settings” tab. NOTE: Other users will be able to edit your shared board, unless you upgrade to our paid plan where you can then access the Board Permission settings to disable editing. 

We hope you enjoy this new template and are able to be 10X more productive!

Come give Retrospect a spin: Retrospect.team

For Sale: Sunshine Social

Introducing: Sunshine Social

🔆 Sunshine Social is a community focused on user content within a streamlined user experience.

On July 27th, 2019 we reached out to Dalton Edwards on Twitter regarding his announcement that he was interested in selling off his side project: Sunshine Social – after a short discussion, Krazier decided to acquire the site.

We see a huge opportunity to build an interesting community in a distraction free environment. Since acquiring the site just a few weeks ago, we have already made some significant improvements.

  • Added awesome Dark Mode that we call “Sunset”
  • Refined Colors
  • Converted to Bootstrap 4
  • Cleared Comment Form on Submission
  • Fixed disappearing posts.
  • Redesigned Status Card layout.
  • Added Comment Counts
  • Added Notifications
  • Removed redundant labels
  • Added Timestamps
  • Refined Font Sizes
    Refined Profile Card
  • Added Ability to Delete Account / Content
  • and lots of other refinements…

Sunshine is to a point that it’s a viable community with a solid experience and growing user-base, the next step is to step back and re-evaluate everything and start making plans for a full rebuild over the coming months.

We’ll have a lot more to share over the coming months, if you are interested in shaping the community, we encourage you to come join us! Visit Sunshine Social