Sympower is a transformative company that empowers commercial and industrial energy users to build sustainable energy systems. As a B-certified company, its goal is to increase sustainability, cost reduction, and grid stability around the world.

Sympower is a company defined by its people and culture, with a shared vision of a truly sustainable world.

Specializing in demand response and energy flexibility solutions, Sympower helps balance the grid and integrates renewable energy sources. As part of its commitment to continuous improvement, Sympower has adopted TeamRetro to streamline processes and foster a culture of collaboration and growth.

Fred Puistaja is an accomplished Engineering Manager at Sympower where he has demonstrated his expertise and leadership for over 6 years, moving up through pivotal roles.

His previous manager and teammate described him as having a keen eye for data quality, with continuous improvement embedded in his heart and brain, and as a cool life hacker!

Fred shares why TeamRetro is the preferred retrospective tool.

“We are a software team and company. We were looking for tools to help us better run our retrospectives and needed features that would help improve the way our meetings were run.”

For us, this meant things like:

  • You didn’t need to mess with stickies
  • You could write down action items and track them
  • You could hide all ideas before discussing
  • You could color ideas by the author
  • You could generate a summary of the retro

We found that TeamRetro had these features and also a well-structured way of doing retros. The other tools didn’t have all of these features in one. We run our bi-weekly retrospectives in our Scrum teams, so having the right agile retrospective meeting tool is important. Some of our non-engineering teams also use TeamRetro on occasion.

Having good retrospectives means we can get fast feedback from our sprints. Small improvements each time help us fine-tune our processes. One of the aspects that we really enjoy is that it also allows us to have retrospectives with minimal effort from the facilitator. It allows the team to focus on the task at hand because it is just easier.

It’s great that it also allows us to share the summary easily with other teams and team members. It reduces the facilitator’s workload, which means they can be more effective and helpful for the team.

Team members could also fill in their ideas beforehand, and privately – without showing them to everyone else already. This means the input is unbiased and can be in their own time. You can also schedule recurring retros.

One of the benefits of using Teamretro is that it allows you to create and track actions right next to the retro (and idea) itself, so you can see where the reason for the action came from.

One of the cons or areas for improvement would be that during the presentation stage, when we are going through ideas, those ideas can be sorted by topic, and by person. This would allow us to go through topic areas first, rather than by most voted which is the default.
[TeamRetro Feature Update: Great feedback Fred. And good news! This feature is now live so you can sort by topic and person in the presentation phase!]

Overall, our team says our retros are now more organized, which allows us to have fast feedback cycles on how we are working.

As a piece of advice for teams, it’s important to always aim to create a safe environment to share feedback in order to get the most out of your retrospectives.

Thanks for your feedback Fred. We hope to help you and your teams continue to run amazing and worthwhile retrospectives!