rei

"We saw three huge benefits when using Retrium..."

A Retrium Customer Story with Matías Niño (Scrum Master @ REI Systems)

REI Systems is a leading provider of web-enabled business solutions for the Federal Government and commercial sector. Drawing upon their mission to deliver reliable, effective, and innovative solutions, the company partners with clients to solve complex homeland security, health resources, and criminal justice issues. REI has led the way in creating open source government websites, such as Data.gov, USASpending.gov, and ITDashboard.

nikiBy Niki Kohari, Retrium COO

rei-systemsWhen you think of any government agency or a company that works with them, you probably wouldn't describe it as transparent and open with communication, but maybe you should. Matías Niño is a ScrumMaster at REI Systems, and his team's story of using Agile techniques with government clients might just change your perspective.

His team and their clients use Retrium together, to increase the visibility of information and have honest conversations about the progress of projects. Not only does everyone involved love using Retrium, but Matías also attributes a significant increase in customer satisfaction directly to their usage of Retrium. That's an amazing result!

Finding Retrium

Matías currently works with two teams, both with distributed members, and they partner with the General Services Administration on a contract. They operate within a broader context that uses the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) to synchronize alignment, collaboration, and the delivery of services across a large number of Agile teams. That's a lot of Agile terms to say that the environment is complex and people need to be on the same page, so of course, retrospectives are a huge part of keeping everyone moving in the right direction.

Before Retrium, the team worked together for about 6 months, and they were struggling with retrospectives because of the distributed nature of the team. Matías recalled his biggest frustration in those first few months:

We really wanted everyone on the team to be an equal participant in the retrospectives, but that wasn't happening. The people in a room together were dominating the conversation, and the remote members didn't feel connected and engaged in the process. While we had some trust in the team, we realized there was more we needed to do to encourage people to participate fully in the retros.

By chance, Matías discovered Retrium at a local meetup, met our co-founder, David, and decided to trial the product with his team and stakeholders on the project. After putting Retrium to the test, he received "immediate and great positive reactions" from everyone involved.

The client really loved retrospectives in Retrium because it enables everyone to participate and share information, and Matías emphatically noted that this increased REI System's reputation and credibility with the client, and ultimately, their satisfaction. In a business where relationships matter, this is incredibly important!

Creating an Equal Playing Field for Everyone

The team has been using Retrium for a while now with a lot of success. Not only has it helped their relationship with their client, but it's really brought the team out of their shell. Matías noted that, “people are more courageous with their input, so new topics for discussion are coming up, ones we would have never been talked about otherwise.”

Don't believe that's true? Well just a couple of weeks ago, he sent a screenshot with the caption:

This was the top-voted question, and yet something I normally would not have gotten raised had it not been for Retrium. :)

REI Systems

This is the kind of feedback product people like me live for!

Because Retrium gives everyone a voice and creates an equal playing field regardless of location, people at REI Systems are far more comfortable sharing their feedback as a result of Retrium. With outcomes like that, what do you have to gain by checking out Retrium?

Less Maintenance, More Fun

Obviously Matías and his team have found some great benefits when using Retrium, but those aren't the only ones they've seen. Before Retrium, continuity from retrospective to retrospective was a problem. They were posting topics, conclusions, and actions on a team wiki page, but not everyone had access, so the follow-through didn't always happen.

As you can imagine, this was also a lot of maintenance because someone had to constantly copy and paste information after the retrospectives were complete. All these issues were solved once they started using Retrium! There was no more copying and pasting content, and they can use the history to go back and look at each retrospective. Additionally, they always have access to the action plan to keep track of progress.

Best of all, the team had noticeably more fun during the retrospectives in Retrium. Matías noted that, not only could anyone pick up Retrium and use it without training, but the process is so much more fun using our tool because of the simplicity of the product, the look and feel of the notes, and the focus on teamwork.

It's a delightful product that gives you a happy feeling.
Matías' Favorite Retro Format

leancoffee

© Copyright leancoffee.org

Matías uses the Lean Coffee format most often because of it's flexibility, and stated

I love that it's bare bones and doesn't make you think about topics as good or bad.” This has helped spur all kinds of interesting conversations that continue to build honesty and trust among the team and their clients.
Matías' Favorite Features

Matías mentioned two Retrium features that he couldn't live without. The first was voting because it allows the team to talk about the most important issues. Second, he loves looking at the history all the retros from sprint-to-sprint, since they're so powerful and he could never really do that before. It always helps him remember the context of the sprint and what they were talking about and doing at that time.

Want to have more efficient and organized retrospectives with your team? Try two free retrospectives in Retrium and see the value for yourself!

Learn about some of our other happy customers!

We will never go back to using anything else for retrospectives. Retrium is fundamental to who we are at Sococo. It's transformed the whole team, and there's no reason for us to ever look at anything else. I would even use it if we were co-located.
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Retrium scratched an itch I didn't know was there. It gave me and the team fantastic insights that we never would have gotten otherwise, and we continue to gain new insights every time we use it.
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The value was obvious from the very first use. You don't have to wait 6 months or a year to see a return on investment. The ROI is huge because Retrium doesn't cost much, but the benefits are immediate and evident.
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Retrium was so easy to adopt, and it's also a fun tool to use. It's the best way to get feedback from everyone, not just those that talk the most. I would recommend it for any team, even if they're co-located because of the clear and unfiltered feedback you receive.
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We use Facebook for text-based interaction, so we needed something as simple as that. We tried out several tools, but they were much too complicated. Retrium was so intuitive that it was obvious to everyone exactly what they were supposed to do.
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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.
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