Retrospectives are the key to improvement

We just celebrated IT Direct’s 17th year in business…it’s an amazing achievement and we’ve learned a lot along the way. One of the keys to our success is our ability to continuously improve by thoroughly reviewing both our achievements and our mistakes. This is why the ‘retrospective’ meeting has become a mainstay of our processes.

After every project or event, and regularly for ongoing processes, we schedule a meeting to review how things went or how they are going. We have these meeting for everything from huge engineering projects with new clients to smaller internal events.

No matter how well something went there is always room to improve a process, decrease costs, or help things run smoother. And if things went wrong, there are processes that can be clarified, communication that can be improved, and planning that can be updated. Just as importantly, we identify all the things that went well so we can keep on doing them!

Everyone on our team believes in the importance of these meetings. With a culture of learning from our mistakes, our team is able to share them in order to learn. Just the same, we take great pride in appreciating the value of our teammates’ contributions and recognizing outstanding performance that helped things go well.

If you’re not currently having this kind of meeting in your business, consider starting! Set up a meeting with the key team members and use a simple agenda, such as:

  1. What worked
  2. What didn’t work
  3. Improvements for next time – make sure these improvements have a team member who’s responsible and an action or task to ensure accountability

You will be amazed by the improvements achieved and the shift in the cultural mindset from hiding mistakes to learning from them.