Use Discussions For Company Wide "Year In Review" Logging

January 2, 2020 • Peter Sanchez • Tips

It's a common practice for businesses, or really anyone, to do a "Year In Review" retrospective at the end of the year. The process of reviewing the year and all of it's achievements, and disappointments, are crucial to growing and improving the following year.

The issue is that it can be a bit daunting. Combing emails, calendars, etc. to find the milestones can be so tedious that it's easy to add it to the "I'll do it later" list. You know, the one that never gets done.

We have a simple trick that we use to help us remember the highs and lows for every year. Luckily it's something that anyone can do.

We create a company wide discussion in our AnyHow organization. We label it to encourage everyone within the company to log their milestones throughout the year.

Here's how it works.

  1. We create the post and leave it wide open so the entire company can participate. It's left open from Jan 1st to Dec 31st.
  2. We categorize the post into a category that everyone knows is used to encourage participation (in our case, it's "Get Involved".)
  3. We pin the post so it remains at the top of the discussions listing.
  4. We make it clear in the post that any entry is welcome. No matter how big or small. If it's important to any member of our organization, it's important to all of us.

Now whenever someone in the company has something they'd like to note, they simply click the post, hit reply, and write out what milestone they'd like to remember. The process takes them less than a minute usually and the date/time is automatically tracked and displayed by AnyHow.

When someone wants to add on to a reply, maybe for context or follow up, they simply reply again. It creates ongoing chains of discussion for each milestone and they're all nearly organized on a single thread.

Doing it this way makes it much easier to note the milestones at the end of the year. It also let's everyone be involved and recognized for all the work done that year.

When we return to work after the holidays we get on a company wide video chat and review the discussion post. Every milestone logged is read by the person who logged it and a discussion ensues. Honestly, it's a lot of fun and helps the team form new bonds. Since we all work remotely, we take any chance we can to all "get together" for a fun discussion.

Pro tip: For those who like to imbibe, doing this year end discussion with a beer, or your favorite adult beverage, can definitely help add some laughs to the review.

Do you do a year in review retrospective? Have any feedback or tips for us? We'd love to hear from you.

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