01.16.2019 Strategy and Design

Retrospectives: Quick, Easy, & Data-Informed

Retrospectives: Quick, Easy, and Data-Informed

Congratulations, you’ve made it to 2019! Whether the past year for you was full of successes or challenges (probably both, right?), you no doubt worked your butt off and deserve some breathing room before jumping back into your infinite to-do list and your org’s annual plan.

Taking time to reflect back on how your efforts went — both quantitatively and qualitatively, internally and externally — is a way to not only give yourself some of that precious breathing room, and some closure to a big year, but it’s also really strategically valuable. Some organizations provide space for reflection and retrospect, but if that isn’t built into the established workflow and culture where you are, it doesn’t mean you can’t make that happen for yourself and your team. We highly encourage you to stop, breathe, and evaluate your efforts.

At ThinkShout, we hold retrospectives after every project. We want to celebrate our wins, learn how to improve, and identify future opportunities. Whether it’s just you as a one-person department, a team, or you have access to your entire staff, take one hour out of this month to come together and reflect on milestones, outputs, process improvements — anything goes:

Consider bringing some data to the discussion to enhance your reflections. If you’re not a data-based organization, you can pull simple analytics numbers to inform your discussion and set you on a path of establishing a more data-informed mindset. Did you launch a new site, campaign, communications strategy, or program? Do a quick numbers comparison from before and after to provide some insight into how those efforts went, and to establish baselines from which to measure moving into 2019. To help get you started, here are some of the simple metrics we look at when we launch a new website or campaign:

New Website:

Campaign:

These metrics are all easily accessible from your reporting tools and are a great starting point to understand how your digital efforts are doing quantitatively.

In case you’re feeling crunched for time, you can simplify the process. Instead of trying to find the time to meet with your team, build a quick survey in Google Forms or Survey Monkey to gather and share individual feedback. While IRL conversation is always best and sparks additional insights and learnings, just providing an opportunity to reflect can start the new year off right, and be a first step toward establishing a stronger learning culture.

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