After the match is before the match. Soccer coaches therefore scrutinize every past match in detail and analyze what went well and what went not so great. This is the only way they can learn from their own and the team's mistakes - and achieve better results in the end.
For you as a servant leader, the motto is: After the sprint is before the sprint. In order to uncover problems in your team after - or even during - a sprint, you need to take a look back. This works via a retrospective. It collects feedback, uncovers mistakes made and defines action items.
To be able to efficiently draw important insights from the retrospective, you need an intelligent tool. The problem: You can find dozens of team retro tools on the market. They all have their own advantages and disadvantages. So how can you identify the right retrospective meeting tool for your organization?
We have combed the market for all available retrospective web tools and picked out 14 candidates that come into question for a successful retrospective. To help you understand my selection, I'll first show you what makes a good tool. Then I explain in detail what each tool can do, when it is the right tool for you and what it costs. At the end of my analysis, you will know which tool you need for a professional retrospective.
Overview & Comparison: Retrospective Tools Online
Here is the overview including a simplified grade how we view these tools from A (high quality) to C (low quality). You can find more about the evaluation criteria behind that in our section What sets us apart.
More information' about the tools and more specific recommendations is below, because the explanatory power of these grades is obviously limited 😉
How to conduct a retrospective
Basically, a retrospective is dedicated to three essential questions:
- What went well in the last sprint (project, week, etc.)?
- What went not so good in the last sprint?
- How can we improve our next sprint?
How exactly you approach these questions in a retrospective and which facets you illuminate is up to you. After all, you decide which factors are particularly important for completing sprints and projects with great success.
However, the process of a retrospective is always similar:
Create an environment where each team member feels comfortable sharing their thoughts without reservation.
Gather all ideas about what worked and what didn't in the last sprint, project, or since the last retrospective.
Organize the collected ideas so that you and your team get a good overview of where most problems lie.
Decide with your team where a particular need for improvement is.
Create action items with the targeted improvements that you and your team will implement in the next sprint or project.
Done. As long as you and your team repeat this retrospective process regularly, you can learn from your mistakes and experiences - and work more successfully and happily.
What makes a good online retro tool?
Before we take a look at the individual sprint retro online tools, let's talk about what makes a good tool. Because even though the tools on the market sometimes take very different approaches, the qualities of a good tool are clearly defined.
The most important thing is that a retrospective Scrum tool has the big picture in mind. After all, you want to continuously improve with your team. To do that, you need to make your team more mature, more skilled, and more satisfied - both each individual and the team as a working community.
In order for you to succeed in this, a tool must have these capabilities:
Collects equal feedback
In teams, some voices are always louder than others. As a result, the louder voices often overshadow the somewhat quieter voices. This can lead to an unbalanced view of problems. A good remote retro tool therefore ensures that each participant can give his or her answer in such a way that everyone perceives it. This works primarily through written feedback. In this way, even reserved personalities can contribute their opinion.
Prevents chaos during the retrospective
A retrospective uncovers many questions and generates countless ideas. This can quickly lead to chaos during discussions. The result: You lose the overview. You overlook problems and potentials. A convincing retrospective web tool organizes the feedback of team members. It lets you collect, sort and evaluate problems, questions and ideas quickly and easily.
Whenever a good idea comes up, it can happen that team members only devote themselves to this idea - and thus do not continue to work on their own suggestions. A good online retro tool therefore manages to prevent groupthink from arising. It collects feedback independently, asynchronously and perhaps even anonymously.
Which online retro tool is right for you?
You now know what a smart online retrospective tool needs to be able to do so you can benefit from it with your team. So which retrospective meeting tool is right for you? Check out these 14 tools:
The retrospective online tool TeamMood focuses on the mood and well-being of team members. You can collect feedback from them on a daily or weekly basis. From the feedback, the tool then generates a mood chart and analytics that you can use as the basis for discussions for your retrospective.
What does the Retrospective Scrum Tool TeamMood cost?
You can test TeamMood for 30 days free of charge. After that, it costs from 2 euros per month and user. Check out the pricing here.
When is the Team Retro Tool TeamMood right for you?
TeamMood is the right sprint retro online tool for you if you want to check the mood in the team quickly and easily - the effort for the team members is about 2 minutes. This could be because you are concerned about the mood in the team or because this is an important prerequisite for effective collaboration in a project. However, the tool does not evaluate corporate cultural factors or topics such as productivity.
I would also like to introduce you to our tool. The team retro tool Echometer focuses on the holistic development of your team and your organization. It serves both the productivity of the collaboration and the mood in the team. To examine both, Echometer performs a cultural health check and initiates a continuous bottom-up improvement process.
The tool provides a flexible kit for preparing, conducting and following up on retrospectives, which you can individually adapt to the needs of your team and your organization - including measures tracking, whiteboard and live reactions. It clearly documents all results and makes team development measurable. Most importantly, it's still flexible, so there's plenty of room for creativity and fun.
What does the Retrospective Meeting Tool Echometer cost?
After a free trial period, companies can choose between the "Team", "Business" and "Enterprise" packages. Prices start at 80 euros per month. Thus, Echometer serves every size of company, from SMEs to corporations. This overview shows what the individual packages cost.
When is the Remote Retro Tool Echometer right for you?
Echometer is the right choice for you if you want to develop teams and organizations at all levels. It provides you and your agile coaching team with a continuous health check on the maturity of teams and makes development successes visible. Because: As a spin-off from the psychological faculty of the University of Münster, we also rely on psychological know-how to decisively advance cooperation, work culture and employee satisfaction with every retrospective. Here you can take a look at the tool and start a free trial.
With Neatro, you create retrospectives that are tailored to the context of a project and the structure of your organization. To do this, the retrospective tool provides you with templates that you can customize. At the end of the retrospective, you create action items that you implement for the next sprint or for general collaboration.
What does the Sprint Retro Online Tool Neatro cost?
For 30 days you can test the tool for free. After that, Neatro costs $20 per month per team. Here you can find more information about the services included in the price.
When is the Retrospective Web Tool Neatro right for you?
Neatro focuses on continuous holistic improvement of teams. The tool automatically reminds you of incomplete action items from previous sessions. In this way, it ensures that you actually implement initiated improvements.
TeamRetro is a retrospective tool for both remote teams and "on-site" teams. It stores all actions in a list so you can track them from retrospective to retrospective. TeamRetro is designed primarily for software development teams.
What does the Retro Online Tool cost?
TeamRetro is available starting at $25 per month for a team. If you want to use the tool for 6 teams at once, you'll be looking at $90 per month. All pricing models include a 30-day trial period, which is free. All prices are available here.
When is the Retrospective Scrum Tool TeamRetro right for you?
In addition to the classic project progress, TeamRetro also examines the motivation of employees. For example, it uses questions about personal responsibility, goal orientation and communication. However, you cannot use the tool to collect feedback in advance of a retro.
Retrium is a retrospective tool where team members can anonymously vote on what to prioritize and what action items to create. Retrium offers many different formats for retrospectives, so you never have the same meeting twice with your team. Possible topics for the retros include safety, engagement, and team performance. You can collect feedback asynchronously or in real time.
What does the Retro Tool Retrium cost?
Retrium costs start at $39 per team room per month. You can find the prices for the Business and Enterprise variants on this price overview. There you can also test a Retrium demo directly.
When is the Remote Retro Tool Retrium right for you?
Retrium was developed specifically to identify problems in a project before they endanger the success of the team. However, the tool does not provide cross-team KPIs and psychological impulses.
With Retros.work you can create retrospectives tailored to your team. Employees can then vote democratically on questions and ideas or share their impressions via emoticons. The Retro Tool generates a trend curve from the data, which allows you to keep an eye on the development of your team.
What does the retro tool Retros.work cost?
Retros.work is a free retrospective tool. However, you can only use a limited number of questions and you cannot customize them for your organization. The price for the premium version depends on the number of users. For example, 10 users costs 3.99 euros per month per user. You can then use all features of the tool. Click here for pricing.
When is the remote retro tool Retros.work right for you?
Retros.work makes it easy for you to track emotions and energy trends across multiple sprints. The tool is therefore particularly suitable if you want to keep an eye on the mood in your team and within a project.
GoRetro is a free retrospective tool. You can choose from predefined templates for different types of retrospectives. To evaluate the collected data, the tool provides, among other things, a happiness index for developers and distributes action points.
What does the online retro tool GoRetro cost?
GoRetro is a free online retro tool.
When is the retrospective tool GoRetro right for you?
GoRetro is one of the few free online retro tools on the market that do not have a freemium business model. You can therefore access all retrospective boards for free. However, you cannot export action items. And: The UI design needs getting used to in many places.
RetroTime collects feedback from teams so that they can quickly learn from their mistakes and prepare for new challenges. To do this, the tool helps identify patterns in the feedback.
What does the Retrospective Meeting Tool RetroTime cost?
You can test the tool free of charge for one month. The Premium version costs $8 per month. The Unlimited version costs $15 per month. This gives you full access to all features. Here are the prices in the overview.
When is RetroTime the right tool for you?
RetroTime allows your team members to anonymize any note. This way, they can freely comment on all topics. Thus, the tool offers the same feature as Retrium.
Parabol is a retro tool that automatically generates a comprehensive summary after each retrospective. It details what the key outcomes of the retrospective were and who is responsible for which improvements. Employees receive the summary automatically via email or Slack.
What does the Retro Tool Parabol cost?
Parabol is a partially free online retro tool. The free version offers you unlimited meetings and customizable templates for the retrospectives. You can book the Pro or Enterprise version for more functions. For a professional Scrum Master, we recommend to buy a Pro version. You can find the prices here.
When is the Parabol retrospective tool right for you?
Parabol stands out for its integration with Atlassian Jira and GitHub. You can therefore export tasks to make it easier to track planned improvements.
Reetro is an online tool for retrospectives to easily plan, conduct, manage and evaluate them. To create retrospectives, you can choose predefined retros or create your own individualized retros for your team.
The easy-to-understand user interface makes it easy for team members to get involved in the retrospective. You can also specify whether the comments should be shown anonymously or publicly.
What does the Retro Tool Reetro team cost?
Reetro is a free online retro tool. It was planned to introduce a pro model with more comprehensive functions in March 2021. However, this has not yet happened. Reetro seems to have refrained from this.
When is the Retrospective Scrum Tool Reetro right for you?
Reetro is the right retro tool for you if you want to combine this with Scrum tools like Jira, Azure DevOps, Confluence, Yodiz, Trello or Asana. What's more, Reetro is one of the few tools on the market that is entirely free. However, the UI is a bit bulky.
EasyRetro - formerly FunRetro - is an open source tool based on Node.js. It provides you with templates for retros that you can customize. It has basic functionality for retrospectives. To manage topics and actions, you use colored cards. Team members can mark these cards with "Like".
What does the Easy Retro Tool cost?
The EasyRetro tool offers variable pricing: For example, if you only need up to 3 public boards per month, the tool is free. For more boards, you pay between 29 and 92 euros per month, depending on your needs. You can test the paid plans free of charge. You can find the price overview here.
When is the EasyRetro Online Tool right for you?
The real strength of the EasyRetro tool are the predefined retrospectives. They offer teams an easy and quick way to start questioning and evaluating their collaboration. However, the range of functions is limited. For example, the tool does not have moderation support or team templates for each maturity level. In addition, you can't measure team development over time.
RetroTool is an online tool for real-time retrospectives. Teams brainstorm, discuss and vote on ideas. You then create action items based on the resulting findings.
What does RetroTool cost?
RetroTool is basically free of charge. Besides its two free plans "Anonymous" and "Registered", you can also find a premium version. This offers you full access to all functions and encryption of the data. This costs $20 per month. Check out which plan is suitable for you here.
When is RetroTool right for you?
RetroTool is easy to use thanks to its UI and therefore offers an easy start for all beginners of retrospectives. And: Even with the free variants you get a considerable range of functions.
Metro Retro lets you do real-time retrospectives on a whiteboard. You can customize the templates to fit your team and organization.
What does Metro Retro cost?
Metro Retro is a free online retro tool.
When is Metro Retro the right tool for you?
Besides GoRetro and Reetro, Metro Retro is the only tool on the market that you can use in full without paying for it.
Honorable Mention: Miro
Miro is actually not a tool that focuses only on retrospectives. Rather, it's a multifunctional software for team collaboration. For retrospectives, Miro gives you three free retro boards that you can customize any way you want via columns.
What does the Retro Tool Miro cost?
Miro has one free plan and three paid plans that offer you more features. You can check here which model is suitable for you.
When is Miro the right tool for you?
Miro is the right choice for you if you are not only looking for a tool for retrospectives, but also a software for the collaboration of your teams. In addition to retrospectives, you can also use the tool for workshops, diagrams, mind mapping, and design thinking. However, you will find more focus and more functions for a retrospective with other tools.
The market for retro tools is confusing. It makes it difficult for you to choose a tool. As my selection has shown you, many tools have their own approach to improving teamwork. At the same time, however, many tools also offer the same functions, so that it is often not clear at first glance which tool is suitable for which requirements.
With our tool Echometer we want to counteract this. Our tool is designed to continuously develop all areas of your organization. It addresses all pillars of agile working, from productive collaboration to corporate culture and employee satisfaction. Echometer therefore ensures that you don't just turn one success screw, but all of them at the same time. If you want to see in detail how our tool works, here you can find all the important information in a nutshell.
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