Don’t rush. Not planning enough time for retrospectives, creates the impression it is not important and only done because we have to. And not digging into customer problems first but rushing into fulfilling a customer’s request will jeopardize all established efforts and mindset in the previous phases.
Specifically in retrospective meetings:
Find the right team size. Too few participants and many relevant people will be missing. Too many and it will become hard to give everybody a voice. Depending on on-site vs. remote events as well as tooling, the ideal number of participants varies.
Consider inviting management. Depending on company culture and openness inside the team, it might sometimes help to not have executives in the room.
Address the good things as well as the bad things. Of course, find areas to improve but also include aspects that worked out well to avoid a negative mindset.
Summarize and follow up so that everyone on the team knows what’s next and sees value in these retrospective meetings.
Specifically in responding to customer feedback:
Categorize it. Go back to product vision and strategy, identify and prioritize those that fell into strategic pillars.
Loop in both the customers and their point of contact in the company, e.g. Customer Success or Consultant. It will not only save time answering questions regarding progress but also make it possible to receive timely clarifications from customers.
Only mildly successful with their online gaming product, a tech company revisited their tooling and saw great potential in their previously internal tool for “Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge”. They decided to pivot and launch this tool as their new product – Slack.