28 April 2022

What to look for in a partner to run your retrospective

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You’re bought into the idea of having your project or programme retrospective run independently.

So what should you look for in a partner to run your retrospective?


This is about whether the partner has a good understanding of the processes involved in identifying and capturing insights, and turning these into actionable learning.

  • Do they understand how the lessons learned process works?
  • Do they know how and where things can go wrong, and have they developed approaches to get around them?
  • Do they have ways of encouraging contribution, and making sure that everyone gets heard?
  • Are they brave enough to speak up to senior people to make sure they don’t trample on the views of more junior people?
  • Do they run things according to a set formula, or do they tailor their approach to suit each client and project?
  • Are they adaptable enough to flex their approach when appropriate?


This is about the partner’s efficiency and effectiveness in running the process, whether they are likely to get fazed by any ‘surprises’, and whether they are comfortable and confident with what they are doing.

  • Have they run retrospectives independently for clients, or have they just done it internally on their own projects?
  • Have they worked with clients across industries?
  • Have they done it many times before and developed a set of techniques which they know are effective at getting from observation to actionable insight?
  • Do they walk the talk, and use their experience of running retrospectives to improve what they do?


This is about their adaptability to handle the process in a way that works for you.

  • Can they run in-person sessions at your workplace?
  • If your team is geographically dispersed then can they run a remote retrospective?
  • Do they have the tools and techniques to make this effective?


This is about not just relying on what they tell you, but looking for social proof that they know what they are doing and have satisfied clients.

  • Do they have happy clients who endorse their ability?
  • Do people who attend their sessions find them worthwhile?

Find out more

Now you know what to look for in a partner, why not find out why The PMO Professionals are the perfect partner to run your retrospective?