Checklist for the CEO/Executive Team

October 18, 2010


This is a part of a series that was cre­at­ed to help you get the prac­tice of ret­ro­spec­tives built into your com­pany.  This series will walk through the approach, nec­es­sary roles, in addi­tion to guides for each role to help your com­pany get started quickly.

Use the following checklist to ensure that this effort will have the greatest probability of success. The executive team should ensure that all items are checked off and the corporate facilitators should ensure that the executive team is following through on the checklist.

  • We believe in the value of retrospectives/after action reviews (AARs) as a continuous improvement tool.
  • We have discussed, prioritized, and approved this effort as a corporate initiative.
  • We have explained the value of retrospectives/AARs to our people.
  • We have stressed that retrospectives/AARs are about improvement, not blame.
  • We have encouraged our people to be open and honest during retrospective/AAR meetings; we are prepared to protect them in doing so and have communicated this to them.
  • We have identified facilitators to guide retrospective meetings and have given them the appropriate training and tools to do their jobs effectively.
  • We will meet with facilitators moving forward to ensure that at least 3 actionable recommendations are coming out of each meeting and that he or she is following up to ensure that recommendations are being implemented.
  • When facilitators come to us with concerns, we must be ready to address those concerns – if not, we risk losing the trust of our teams and our people; we understand that at times our teams will need us to provide them with additional tools and resources in order to make the changes they have identified as key to improving.
  • We will survey our people about their experiences using retrospectives.
  • We will adjust the communication and the goals based on the results from the effort.

Next week, I will dis­cuss some great ways to help survey team members to get valuable feedback.

Founder & Partner

As the founder of OpenView, Scott focuses on distinctive business models and products that uniquely address a meaningful market pain point. This includes a broad interest in application and infrastructure companies, and businesses that are addressing the next generation of technology, including SaaS, cloud computing, mobile platforms, storage, networking, IT tools, and development tools.