Team O’clock 2022 retreat

An overview and some highlights from our second company retreat. Checkout the highlights for some useful tips ;)

Oct 17, 2022 · 4 min read

Retreat - Mount Oiti, 2022

Leveraging our previous retreat experience, we had our second one. This time we worked on our product strategy and our growth trajectory.

Keep reading to learn more!

The place: Pavliani Fthiotidas

Pavliani, Fthiotidas at 1150m altitude, a fun destination with a few amazing sights, and lots of water streams. We didn’t manage to visit all sights, and we missed the iron throne by a minute due to fear of a lightning strike!

A trek in an evergreen forest in Pavliani

Our days consisted of casual walks in the forest and breaks for sessions on local cafe’s & restaurants.

A collage of image from the cafe and Nikos and Mike working

The awesome “Katafygio Oiti” & “Mantamia Cafe”

Unfortunately, all the days were cloudy with light raining, rendering our shoes muddy and our clothes soaking. One of us even caught a cold, that lasted just for 3 days.

Collage of walks in Pavliani forests

The agenda: Growth and next steps

We’ve worked on an agenda the month leading to our 3-day retreat. Using on of Team O’clock tools, Agile Maps, we’ve set some items. We tried to frame the work needed in small chunks so that we see a finishing line (vs. going wild without an end-goal!).

Part of the retreat agenda in Agile Maps

Agenda + action on one of the items

We managed to work on all of the items in our list and recorded the progress and plan ahead on the same tool, Agile Maps. Overall, this was really helpful and we appreciated walking the talk with this map.

Some highlights

🤝 Less screen time, more discussions! We actively avoided coding and presenting on screen. We used pen & paper instead, filling up with discussions. In a retrospect discussion after the event, we identified the pen & paper exercise for our strategy forward the key moment of the event. This discussion was a 2hour session, using laptops as calculators, and fetching the data.

🎥 Shooting the video! The whole process from shaping the script to taking everything live was the epitome of agility. We prepared the script during a morning and came up with some impromptu setup mechanisms to shoot the video in nature — with lots of laughs and breaks! Then, we build the landing page and released to production on the same day!

💡Quick and dirty playtesting a new meeting type for our brainstorming session! This was a fun 30-minute session where we used a custom timer from our simple timer tool to facilitate the meeting. The whole exercise was on pen & paper again. When the session ended we identified some problematic areas for the meeting type we playtested and came up with some improvements.

Retreat 02 is over, now get back home!

Getting back home from a focused retreat is refreshing! We’ve built the arsenal and roadmap to lead us and our product to growth.

The most important outcome from our retreat is that working as a team will get us further! We’re at a point to consider part of our team our customers and external colleagues with much higher knowledge on areas we cannot cover. We’ve built our skillset and the strategy to include this extended team into building the future of Team O’clock!

Close up of Nikos and Mike in a walk in Pavliani

So, if you have an idea to make your agile ceremonies smoother, checkout the video and share! We’re here to make it happen!

Until next time, Nikos & Mike out

Mike Giannakopoulos

Author: Mike Giannakopoulos

Mike is an active Senior Product Manager, working on front-end development, design, and experience of Team O'clock.

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