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Tuesday, 27 April 2021 09:00

5 Reasons Why Parabol Should be on Your Project Management Tool Radar

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The next segment in my somewhat weekly series on 5 reasons to try many of these project management software and service offerings that you may not be using or even aware of their powerful capabilities, I am featuring Parabol and 5 reasons why you should know about it and give it a try.

Parabol is an agile meeting tool that helps remote teams run guided retrospective, check-in and Sprint Poker meetings. Every meeting includes optional icebreakers, anonymous voting/reflections and space for async discussions. 

When your meeting is over, Parabol follows-up with an automatic summary, which means no more note-taking. Now everyone can be fully present at your meetings.

Parabol takes the burden off facilitators by making it easy for anyone to run a great agile meeting – no matter if you're a pro facilitator or just starting out.

You Need A Safe Space For Open Discussion

Facilitators need not fear organizing teams around a blank whiteboard. Parabol meetings have a built-in structure that guides you through all the steps of a productive and efficient agile meeting. With more structure comes more dependable meeting outcomes.

But before you jump into the juicy topics of your meeting, you can create a safe space with an optional icebreaker. Built-in questions help get everyone talking and build psychological safety – because if you speak once at the start of a meeting you’re much more likely to speak up again

Connecting as humans makes teams feel safe around each other and sets the stage for a more open conversation. After an icebreaker, your team can feel confident discussing anything together.


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You Want To Have The Right Conversations

Cognitive biases can get an upper-hand over anyone, but Parabol keeps them in check with features that counter bias towards authority and anchoring bias. 

Anonymous reflections in retrospectives and anonymous voting in Sprint Poker make meetings more democratic. Nobody can see another person’s input or be influenced by it. People aren't able to line up behind the opinions of authority figures. And anonymity gives everyone's voice equal weight – from the team lead to the new hire. 

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With anonymity, team members can feel safe raising difficult topics. If you've got a spicy situation brewing, a participant can choose to own their reflection: “I wrote that one”. Or not. It's up to them. Parabol helps teams have important conversations without employees fearing reprisals.

In Parabol retrospectives, the team decides what they want to discuss with a democratic voting process. Every user is assigned a number of votes they can cast on issues they want to discuss most. The issues with the most votes are discussed first. This helps teams focus on having the right conversations.

You Want To Focus On Getting Things Done

We've all been in meetings that end without any next steps. They can feel like a complete waste of time. Parabol pushes teams towards action by prompting participants to add follow-up tasks during the meeting and sending automatic meeting summaries.

Integrations with Jira and GitHub help agile teams fit Parabol into existing workflows. So you can create a follow-up task in your Parabol retrospective and send it straight over to Jira! Just like magic! If you’re doing sprint poker estimation, your final estimate will also sync right back to Jira. Parabol’s Slack integration lets your team know when a new meeting has started.

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Parabol's check-in meeting improves team transparency and accountability. Everyone on the team can see the work you've been doing so you can chart your progress together. The meeting's dynamic agenda function lets any team member raise a talking point. This gives team leads and facilitators a quick and transparent way to fix any roadblocks.

You Need A Tool That's Built For Agile Teams

Parabol is built by agile teams, for agile teams. So it's optimized to suit the way agile teams work and cover the main meetings in a sprint cycle. 

Try Parabol for yourself by holding a 2-minute retrospective meeting with their simulated colleagues. Click here.

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Let's face it, an online whiteboard tool isn't enough for structured agile meetings that you need to hold regularly. It can be messy and confusing. And as a facilitator, whiteboards take a lot of time to prepare. With Parabol, you can start a retrospective, Sprint Poker or check-in meeting in seconds. No preparation needed.

Unlike other tools, Parabol covers the lifecycle of agile ceremonies. You can start your sprint estimating stories with Sprint Poker. Then report on progress and unblock each other with check-in meetings. And at the end of your sprint, you can run retrospectives meetings. All in one tool.

You Want To Make Meetings Worth The Time Invested

Too often, meetings don't feel worth the time invested. And that's a real shame.

Because meetings are a chance to come together. To share opinions. Chart a path forward together. Bond as a team. And process tensions.

Parabol’s icebreakers add joy and connection to meetings. Anonymity creates a safe and democratic space for contributions. Integrations help you get things done according to your workflow. And automatic meeting summaries help you keep the whole team up to date.

Life's too short for bad meetings. Try Parabol to make meetings worth the time invested.

 

Brad Egeland

PMTopContributorBrad Egeland is a Business Solution Designer and IT/PM consultant and author with over 25 years of software development, management, and project management experience leading initiatives in Manufacturing, Government Contracting, Creative Design, Gaming and Hospitality, Retail Operations, Aviation and Airline, Pharmaceutical, Start-ups, Healthcare, Higher Education, Non-profit, High-Tech, Engineering and general IT. Brad is married, a father of 11, and living in sunny Las Vegas, NV. Visit Brad's site at http://www.bradegeland.com/.

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