Marc Löffler is a keynote speaker, author, and agile coach. Before getting in touch with agile methods and principles in 2006, he was working as a traditional project manager for companies like the Volkswagen and Siemens. He recently wrote a book on retrospectives, with a German version available and an English translation coming soon.
By Niki Kohari, Retrium COO
Marc literally wrote the book on retrospectives and is as passionate about building great teams as I am, so our paths were destined to cross eventually. Because of his work as an Agile Coach in companies of all sizes, distributed retrospectives are a topic he cares about deeply, and this is how he first learned of Retrium.
He wrote a blog post about tools for distributed retrospectives, and he and David, Retrium's CEO, connected from there. After hearing more about Retrium, he tried it and loved it. He's been using it ever since to help his clients make the transition to Agile.
Has your team ever hit a wall and you didn't know how to move forward? This happens a lot in Agile teams, especially those in transition from waterfall or other methodologies. Marc has seen this happen more times than he can count, and he believes that retrospectives are the best way to generate the insights needed to move teams forward.
According to Marc:
Retrospectives are the core of Agile because they help teams inspect and adapt.
I couldn't agree more. With consistent retrospectives in place, the feedback cycle is shorter and people feel more open, honest, and safe, the work environment you need to create interesting thoughts and potential actions that help teams move past obstacles.
The difficulty for Marc was trying to figure out how to replicate the true process of a retrospective on the web. This is where Retrium comes in because we help him facilitate a conversation that feels much more connected to members of a team, even when they are spread across multiple locations.
The need for Retrium was clear when Marc was working at a company with employees in both Germany and Poland. Before trying our tool, the team was trying to use pens and paper over video, and this just wasn't working. He needed a way for the team members in both locations to fully participate in the process.
It's so difficult for any meeting to be done remotely. The people on the phone or video are often forgotten, even when everyone has the best intentions. With Retrium, we just don't have that problem. Retrium is the only tool out there with the true flow and process of a retrospective. The other options are just trying to recreate a whiteboard online, and they don't provide anywhere close to the value that Retrium does.
The advantage of using Retrium was that everyone was in the same tool, at the same time, going through the same process, so everyone can clearly see the same information. No more squinting at the screen to see stickies or furiously taking notes to try to make sense of what people were talking about. Everyone truly felt like they were included in the conversation as equals!
Marc's favorite feature is voting because it's so easy to see exactly how many people are voting and what votes are open, all in real time. It's so simple and fast that it never holds up the process of the retrospective.
Want to have more efficient and organized retrospectives with your team? Try two free retrospectives in Retrium and see the value for yourself!