Team radars are a retrospective format that is perfect for gathering data with your team.
See this article if you'll be participating in a Radar but not facilitating.
Table of Contents
- What is a Radar?
- When would I use a Radar?
- The phases of a Radar
- Understand the data
- Determine what’s next
What is a Radar?
Team Radars are used to gauge how the team is doing in areas like development practices, culture, and values, agile practices, or other topics. Our most popular format is the happiness radar, so if you're looking for inspiration, start there!
Team radars can be especially useful because they can help get team members on the same page, illuminate agreement or disagreement, and allow for reflection at both the individual and team levels.
Team Radars function like a short survey to quickly understand where things are going well (or not) and where perspectives may differ. Because you can easily see aggregated results (like the average, standard deviation, etc), it’s an efficient way to focus the follow-up discussion on the most important topics.
Team radars are quite different than a column-based retrospective because your team members don’t generate any text-based notes. Instead, each team member provides a response on a scale of 1-5, then the results are automatically calculated and displayed on a radar chart.
When would I use a Radar?
Ultimately, the decision of when to use a radar is best determined by the team, Agile Coach, or Scrum Master. While individual responses are anonymous and choices are made at the same time, the analysis does show and compare the individual choices. This means that having an established team with trust and psychological safety is best for this technique.
You can consider using a radar when:
- You are running low on time – since it’s an efficient way to narrow down topics to just one or two of the most important ideas to discuss
- You want to talk about broader topics, such as work happiness
- You want numeric/quantitative (as opposed to text/qualitative) output
- You want to add variety into your retrospective meetings when it seems like the team is getting bored
The phases of a Radar
Before the retro starts, you will see what items are included for the team's feedback. These appear as the titles of each spoke in the preview. Just click Start Retro when you're ready to begin. If you don't know what format to choose a Happiness Radar is a great place to start!
Define the Team Radar
During this phase, the facilitator can choose to add or remove spokes from the radar template by clicking on the + sign or edit the description of each spoke by clicking on the text. You can have up to seven spokes on your radar.
When using a new radar for the first time, the team should be sure that everyone has a shared understanding of the meaning of each label on a spoke so everyone is rating the same ideas.
Unlike our column-based retrospective techniques, team members provide ratings on a set of pre-determined topics, attributes, issues, or categories during the data gathering step of the retrospective. The category is listed as a label on each spoke. Everyone then anonymously enters their response on a scale of 1-5. Everyone participates at the same time, so it’s really fast! The line colors are randomly generated each time and do not correlate with specific people.
Once everyone has made their selections, the facilitator can advance the retrospective to the analysis phase using the menu in the bottom right corner of the page.
Understand the data
We do all the work to plot the individual responses and automatically calculate metrics like the average, standard deviation, and much more. This saves teams a ton of time, especially with larger groups!
💡 By default, individual responses are displayed. Use the box labeled Explore the Results to look at different plots.
The facilitator can advance the selection to show a pre-selected combination of statistics to help you understand individual scores, agreement and disagreement, and divergence.
You can also turn on and off the plots using the Legend.
Determine what’s next
From there, your team may want to discuss the results with questions like:
- What interesting points or patterns are visible on the radar?
- What is surprising or unexpected?
- What spokes warrant further feedback, discussion, or clarity?
- What spokes do we want to highlight or celebrate?
- What spokes warrant improvement, action items, or other next steps?
- What information should be shared with leadership or other teams?
- What trends have we seen over time in our radars?
Because the analysis phase is the last step of this team radar format, you may want to leave the board open until the team is done discussing what they see and deciding what to do. Once you advance the retrospective, it will end the Team Radar and it will be saved to your retrospective history.
💡 After a Team Radar, you might consider using a column-based technique to dig into the topic further. You can run one of our standard techniques like "Mad, Sad, Glad," or "Stop, Start, Continue". Another option is to do a custom retrospective with one or more spokes as the column headings.