Parabol vs. GoRetro

8 min read
April 3, 2022
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Parabol vs. GoRetro: how to choose the perfect retrospective platform [2023]

GoRetro reviews are our latest blog series where we provide the facts about different retrospective tools - no BS and no hyperbole needed. Keep scrolling for our analysis and to learn more about all the retrospective tools out there. Enjoy! 😊

GoRetro and Parabol are two highly popular retrospective tools that have their similarities and differences. Depending on what your team prefers, one will surely be a good match. We built GoRetro from the ground up during the Covid era to serve modern teams as they navigate this new world of remote/hybrid retrospective meetings.  Parabol markets itself as the open-source meeting app for remote and agile teams.

Parabol vs. GoRetro: The High-level comparison

When the time comes to get your organization’s processes in order, the first step is knowing you need a solution. But the next step, actually picking and onboarding a new platform is where things get tricky. 

👉  Both GoRetro and Parabol offer similar basic functionality for running your next retrospective meeting, but GoRetro shines when it comes to deep data integration and top-of-the-line security features right from the free tier (and not just for the enterprise tier).

Continue reading below and see how GoRetro and Parabol compare for all your organization’s needs.

More Top Retrospective Tools

In addition to GoRetro and Parabol, there are many other quality Agile retrospective tools. We researched and reviewed the leading retrospective tools and highlighted the essential information you need to know about each. Whether you're a Fortune 100 company or a smaller startup organizing a retrospective meeting, our review can help you narrow down your choices and decide which retrospective tool is right for your needs. See all of our top picks.

What is GoRetro? 

GoRetro is a free SOC-2 certified, Agile sprint retrospective tool that facilitates the entire retro process, making it simple, collaborative and data-driven. GoRetro is used by thousands of Agile teams across the globe, from garage startups to the biggest enterprises in the world (over 20% of S&P 500 companies use GoRetro), and constantly praised for its simplicity, ease of use, and flexibility.

GoRetro board - What went well retrospective

What is Parabol? 

Parabol is the Agile meetings tool for remote teams to run Agile ceremonies. Powering retrospective meetings and incident post-mortems, its software collects notes from workers on things that should be done, things that should no longer be done, and things that should be kept up. They have an open source version and a cloud enabled one.

Parabol retrospective
Image source: Parabol

Features comparison 

❗The most important thing to know is that GoRetro is a SOC-2 and ISO 27001 certified, secured by design platform that gives the same level of security for all tiers, whether you pay or not. This is not applicable for Parabol.

Both GoRetro and Parabol have the same basic features, which will be covered in the next sections. The main difference comes at the integration level. Parabol integrates external platforms’ data as means of importing/exporting tickets, whereas GoRetro utilizes a deeper level of integration. With its advanced data driven features, GoRetro gives you superpowers. You can say goodbye to juggling endless spreadsheets and tabs. Use your real-time sprint data to run better retros and improve your team’s performance; get a sense of what is happening, identify gaps in planning, and see what your team actually spends their time on. GoRetro will allow you to analyze your sprints to identify trends, track improvements and uncover stumbling blocks. On average, we managed to increase participation by 80%. Save time on technical preparation and focus on what's important: getting better. 

Basic features comparison 

Private and public retrospective boards

GoRetro and Parabol both have public and private board options. When it comes to GoRetro, the public boards allow you to send a URL link to anyone you want to have access to the board. The private boards are invite-only and the admin can remove or add members. Parabol allows you to share a board through a link that is valid for 30 days, or via email.

Sprint retrospective templates and customization

Both GoRetro and Parabol have a wide variety of retrospective templates as well as custom boards. Both platforms allow your team to vote on ideas, add comments, and even create cards. GoRetro features an intuitive dashboard that includes sorting and filters to help you find a specific board quickly. Parabol has a unique user interface that updates in real-time. Parabol’s custom boards include social check-ins, anonymous reflections, asynchronous feedback features, and you can even share your custom templates across your organization. With Parabol, each team has a dashboard, and you get to see your dashboard featuring each team you are in and the tasks that are assigned to you.

Sprint Planning

GoRetro provides a space for you to plan every aspect of your sprint, from beginning to end. Capacity Planning for each team member is now clearer and easier than ever with the GoRetro Capacity Planning Dashboard. GoRetro also offers a vitual Planning Poker solution for different estimation techniques and various score summarization methods that syncs issues from your backlog management tool to the Planning Poker tool. This, combined with GoRetro's deep Jira integration that allows teams to see their velocity, carryover, buffers, and planned-versus-actual trends makes GoRetro's Sprint Planning tools everything your team needs.

Parabol similarly offers a virtual Planning Poker tool that integrates with Jira, GitHub or GitLab. The tool comes with different templates for different estimation techniques such as Fruit Sizes, T-Shirt Sizes, Fibonacci and Five Fingers.

What GoRetro and Parabol users have to say

Parabol and GoRetro both have comparison reports in G2, but GoRetro has 53 and Parabol only 25. There is unanimous agreement that the tools meet their requirements (90% of the reviews in G2 for Parabol and GoRetro), and a love of their ease of use and templates across the board. GoRetro is ranked as the best performer for spring 2022. Numerous reviews and testimonials refer to its data-driven insights, simplicity, time saving properties, and rise in participation as its key benefits. 

Pricing

Parabol offers some of its features for free, such as unlimited meetings, various Agile retrospective premade and custom formats, integrations, meeting summaries, unlimited task cards, and archives, and is available for up to two teams. For $6 per month, per active user, you can have unlimited teams, priority customer service, and enhanced account security controls. They also offers special prices for bigger organizations with annual billing and private cloud or on premise hosting.

GoRetro free plan gives you the power to run meaningful retrospectives in a collaborative way. You get one team, unlimited users, unlimited private retrospectives, 5 public boards, and access to all our pre-built templates and advanced facilitation features, wrapped up with the highest level of security

In the premium tier, users can benefit from advanced features such as integrations, data models, automatic sprint analysis, AI models, and so on.

The security team of GoRetro does not discriminate and offers the same level of security across all tiers. Plus, GoRetro is SOC2 & ISO 27001 certified, ensuring your data is protected by the latest security standards.

Full comparison

Parabol
Pricing Free and Paid for advanced features Paid
Free trial
Unlimited users
Unlimited teams
Unlimited boards
Security compliant
Integrations
Facilitator controls
Pre-built templates
Customizable
Board privacy
Action items
Card voting
Merge, sort and search cards
Card comments
Analytics
Reports
SAML single sign-On
Exporting
Support
Knowledge base
Participation analysis
Timer
Happiness polls
Anonymous participation
Public boards
Real time sprint monitor analytics
Micro/Macro sprint analysis
Joker cards
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Determining the right software fit for your team 

We know that the road to a new platform for your organization can seem like a long and complicated one, but by pairing the information we’ve reviewed with your unique insight about your team, it won’t be difficult to find the right retrospective tool to suit your needs. Our core product values are simplicity, ease of use and flexibility. We believe that retrospecting should not take you or your team out of focus or be an obstacle; it should be a fun experience. As such, we’ve made our user interface, features, and overall design seamless and intuitive. From the onboarding process to the meeting itself, GoRetro is your trusted partner.

👉 GoRetro is continuously releasing new features, so be sure to check out our changelog for updates.

👉 You can find useful articles at our Help Center and at our Blog. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our support team.

Happy retrospecting!

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Don’t just take our word for it

Thousands of scrum teams from Fortune 500 companies, banks, government agencies, and innovative startups use GoRetro to make their retrospectives fun, engaging and effective

Katarzyna Z.

July 28th

GoRetro - the best retro tool on the market

GoRetro - the best retro tool on the market
Intuitive navigation between functions and menus, easy application but covers everything needed for a retrospective meeting. Great support team - quick response and frequent update of issue' status. I did 3 retro meetings with the GoRetro app and can't really find any difficulties or disadvantages of GoRetro. What problems is the product solving and how is that benefiting you? The team easily communicates their opinion on the sprint; team feedback can be easily commented. Sorting by the number of votes facilitates team discussions in the area of ​​topics for improvement.

Zion G

April 13th

Excellent tool that has come in handy on many projects. Don't know what I would do without it

GoRetro is the best retrospective tool I have ever
GoRetro is the best retrospective tool I have ever seen. It has everything we've ever wanted. It includes the ability to create unlimited retro boards, plenty of pre-built fully customizable templates, SOC-2 compliant, invite unlimited team members, comment, vote, drag/drop/merge, create action items, follow up trends in the analytics panel, export, and so on. There is nothing that stands out when it comes to disliking Attempt it! The team is pushing the envelope and putting the customer first (their SLA is out of this world). They also have all kinds of fun/mini tools that help us during meetings (ice breaker questions generator, for instance).Finally, the content on their website is incredible. What problems is the product solving and how is that benefiting you? The main benefit is the boost in participation. GoRetro accomplishes this by allowing users to seamlessly collaborate without hassle. Moreover, I appreciate the different templates, ease of customization and ability to tailor the board to our needs.

Mathieu D.

July 20th

A great and simple tool for Retro management

The interface is clean and simple to use. The concepts
The interface is clean and simple to use. The concepts map perfectly well to normal retro processes with the ability to customize just enough to fit everyone's needs. The interface offers a column approach where people can vote, comment and transform items into actionable items. The board, when you have too many items to display can get tedious to manage with long columns. There is a timeboxing option but it is completely manual and not bound to individual items but it's not that bad. What problems is the product solving and how is that benefiting you? My retros were done in all sorts of different tools, tried custom Jira boards, tried integrated tools like in VSTS, used an excel spreadsheet. Nothing ever feels complete. GoRetro offered a good balance of everything to fulfill my needs.

Matt G.

May 9th

Remote retrospectives done right

Easy to use, good templates and analytics. The sprint
Easy to use, good templates and analytics. The sprint summary looks very promising giving more insight than some Jira reports. Minor bugs as it's still in development. Good tool, give it a go if you are using Scrum What problems is the product solving and how is that benefiting you? Running retrospectives remotely has always been a challenge but good tools are making our lives much easier.

Kazi R.

July 15th

very good tool to manage people

Dashboard and teams. This is well-organised interface.
Dashboard and teams. This is well-organised interface. could not see anything yet that I don't like What problems is the product solving and how is that benefiting you? this data-driven ai makes thing simple, easy to manage

Emily G.

July 11th

go to for all retrospectives

it is easy to use and share with my team could have
it is easy to use and share with my team could have more design pizzazz, but that's just extra What problems is the product solving and how is that benefiting you? this is allowing our company to do final project retrospectives

M. Rizki R.

July 1st

Easy to use and support core needs for my team retrospective

it is easy to use and share with my team could have
it is easy to use and share with my team could have more design pizzazz, but that's just extra What problems is the product solving and how is that benefiting you? this is allowing our company to do final project retrospectives

User in Enterprise (> 1000 emp.)

June 27th

User friendly

- Easy to use- Support is available and answers very
- Easy to use- Support is available and answers very quickly- A lot of free features is available, it is very appreciable !! like unlimited boards per team, free to customize boards, board exportation...- Analytics section- Action Items section- Possibility to hide & merge cards in board- Happyness index in board- Team(s) creation + Boards per team Suggestions for improvments:In Board & in Action Items section:- Not possible to put several owner on action items- Not possible to remove the due date if put by mistake- Missing something distinguish visually the status (new, in progress, done) like a color for instance- Missing a status "Cancelled" for action itemIn Analytics section:- Not possible to see who had voted on happyness index- Missing a date when the retrospective was started (not only when the board has been created)- Missing a column about action items : how many action items were created in the board + how many action items are at status Done What problems is the product solving and how is that benefiting you? Before GoRetro :- With other retrospective tools, I didn't have unlimited boards- I had to write another document to summarize the retrospective and the action items to take for each retrospective of my teamBenefits :- GoRetro accelerates my work, especially with action items. It is easier to follow their progression.
GoRetro - Pink Arrow

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