scrumlr.io - Engaging retrospective meetings

Johann Böhler, inovex GmbH, https://www.inovex.de/, @inovexgmbh

scrumlr.io is an open source tool that enables and assists Scrum masters, moderators and Agile coaches around the world to host efficient and engaging collaborative remote meetings and interactive formats. With scrumlr.io, you can especially host versatile and effective retrospective meetings without spending much time to get everyone started.

Web Site: https://beta.scrumlr.io (will soon replace https://scrumlr.io)
Version tested: 2.1.0
System requirements: Internet browser on any device or operating system
License & Pricing: Open source MIT License and free. Get in touch with info [at] scrumlr.io if you want to host our own instance or if you have custom requirements
Support: https://github.com/inovex/scrumlr.io/issues 

We are currently working on providing a new version of scrumlr.io with a revised user experience. This article describes the functionality of the new version that is currently available at https://beta.scrumlr.io and will soon replace https://scrumlr.io

scrumlr.io - open source tool for Scrum retrospectives
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Like many other tools, scrumlr.io will support you while you are meeting in a video conference with a distributed team to share notes and ideas with each other.  Before we dive into further details, you may prefer scrumlr.io in comparison to other tools, because ...

  • It can be used on any device (... and any resolution)
  • It is free and open source
  • No registration is required
  • As a moderator, you can control the pace of your meeting, set the focus on the content to be discussed, start a timer or a voting
  • You can guide the attention of your participants
  • The interface is intuitive, very minimalistic, and will not distract the participants
  • Your data is secure and your privacy is respected

scrumlr.io - open source tool for Scrum retrospectives
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In our modern world with the fast increasing amount of remote work, it becomes difficult to establish a working collaborative team structure and an efficient meeting culture. With scrumlr.io we deliver a powerful assistant for all communicators, team leads, and team members. It's easy to access with a super-fast sign in (it’s a single click, really) and no registration “we gather all your data'' overhead (instead you get funny animal name alliterations if you even don’t want to type in a username - e.g. your name will be “dancing dolphin” or “funny flamingo”). You can also use your Google, GitHub, Apple, or other third-party accounts. And the best - it’s completely free of charge.

scrumlr.io - open source tool for Scrum retrospectives
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You can invite the participants by sharing a simple session URL or a QR code, which users might scan on their mobile phones.

Another benefit of scrumlr.io is its ease of use and the provided user experience. With the simple interface & design - created by our award-winning design experts - it’ll be fun to use and provide an engaging experience on any device and resolution. You can even switch between a light and a dark mode up to your preference.

The heart of it all is practical features for both types of participants in a meeting - moderators and attendees. For both, scrumlr.io provides a seamless integrated real-time collaboration. Attendees can see what their colleagues are doing and interact with them. Moderators get a lot of different helpers like timers, votes, … which provide flexibility and guidance at the same time.

scrumlr.io - open source tool for Scrum retrospectives
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You can set a timer to time-box your discussion. You can define a custom duration before an alert will gently remind the participants that they have to finish up their task.

scrumlr.io - open source tool for Scrum retrospectives
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As a moderator, you can also initiate a dot voting at any time. By finishing the voting phase the notes will be automatically sorted by the number of votes of the participants. Now you can start your discussion.

scrumlr.io - open source tool for Scrum retrospectives
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At the moment you can select from many well-known formats for meetings to start a session. The list includes the following templates:

  • Lean-Coffee
  • Positive / Negative
  • Start, stop, continue
  • Mad, sad, glad
  • Plus-Delta
  • Keep, add, less & more
  • 4L (Liked, learned, lacked, longed for)

You may edit the board and the columns of the template before you start inviting the participants. In the future, you’ll even be able to create your templates, share them with the community or use the templates of other users.

The project is MIT licensed, which is a very permissive license and has little to no restrictions if you want to reuse the code and e.g. host your instance of the platform.

The publicly available instance of the tool hosted on https://scrumlr.io is hosted on a private cloud located in Germany. Your data is secure and it is made sure that your privacy is respected and everything is GDPR compliant. The project is developed with very modern and broadly used tools which are the React framework for the client and Go as the driving programming language for our server code. All parts of the application are containerized and the best part is that you even get a Kubernetes deployment if you want to host your instance of the tool.

scrumlr.io started as a challenge for two friends in Nuremberg - who thought they could develop a better tool than many many competitors during the course of a single summer evening - has grown into a widely popular application.

Thanks to inovex, an IT service provider, a team of highly motivated students will continue to work on new features, improve their skills within fields like modern web technologies or user experience design, while we'll be able to keep scrumlr.io open source and available for everybody. Anyone of you is invited to join the team, develop new features, report or fix issues and, most importantly, contribute to build a tool with the most important ingredient software should have: ❤️.

“Love only grows by sharing. You can only have more for yourself by giving it away to others.” ― Brian Tracy

Just visit the code repository on GitHub https://github.com/inovex/scrumlr.io and get in touch with the developers of the project. There you can also see which exciting features will be released in the future. You also have the option to mail to info [at] scrumlr.io and get in touch personally.

If you want to start your first remote retrospective meeting and you’re not sure how to approach it you may find the article “Remote retrospective: My tips and tricks” very helpful.


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This article was originally published in May 2022

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