Start, Stop, Continue Retrospective Template
Evaluate your last sprint with the Start, Stop, Continue Template. Get your team's feedback, set actionable points at the end of an agile sprint or project, and help your team improve and move forward.
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About the Start, Stop, Continue Template
The Start, Stop, Continue Template helps teams run a retrospective and start looking at specific actions they should start, stop, and continue doing. Together with your collaborators, you can agree on the most important steps to be more productive and successful, setting actionable points at the end of the session.
What is Start Stop Continue?
Giving and receiving feedback is challenging. It’s hard to look back over a quarter or even a week and parse a set of decisions into “positive” and “negative.” The Start, Stop, Continue framework makes it easier to reflect on your team’s last sprint and experiences. It’s a simple but powerful tool that empowers individuals and teams to decide what they want to change when moving forward.
The Start, Stop, Continue Template divides activities and decisions into three categories: things to start doing, things to stop doing, and things to continue forming part of your processes.
Why use the Start, Stop, Continue Template?
The Start, Stop, Continue Retrospective allows everyone to review the actions they've taken in the last sprint and determine which ones are worth stopping or continuing. It also makes it easy for team members to think about new actions they should begin doing. Each item results in behavioral change, with actionable points.
When should you use the Start, Stop, Continue template?
Many product and development teams use the Start, Stop, Continue Retrospective template at the end of an agile sprint. Other departments, such as design or marketing, might find it is most useful at the end of an entire project, quarter, or event.
The Start, Stop, Continue Template gives you a great overview of how projects run and where teams can iterate. After running a retrospective session, everyone can come out with actionable points to improve processes and become more efficient.
The 3 elements of Start, Stop, Continue Template
The Start, Stop, Continue Template has a straightforward format, and it contains three blocks where you will add:
1. Start: What should you start doing?
These are activities and behaviors to improve your processes, reduce waste, and positively impact the way your team functions. Think about technical and behavior elements that might fall into this category.
What tools should you start using? Is there a communication style that might work better for your team?
2. Stop: What should you stop doing?
These activities and behaviors are inefficient, wasteful, or have a negative impact on the way your team functions. Again, it’s important to consider both technical and behavioral elements.
Is your team using a tool that doesn’t work for you? Is there a meeting style or a communication method that isn’t working?
3. Continue: What should you keep doing?
These are activities and behaviors that you’ve tried out and liked but that isn’t yet part of your core processes. Take stock of the tools and methods you’ve experimented with since the last review cycle.
What would you like to continue?
How often should I use the Start, Stop, Continue Retrospective?
You can make the Star, Stop, Continue retrospective at the end of projects or sprints. Different teams will have a different cadence when it comes to the frequency of the retro. Evaluate what’s best for yours and what makes sense.
How do you facilitate Start, Stop, Continue Retrospective?
To run the retrospective, begin sending invites to your team. Create a board and select the Start, Stop, Continue Template. Start the session by asking members to brainstorm about the three aspects of the retro and set a timer. After everyone has added their ideas and thoughts, start grouping the stickies and discuss common themes. In the end, write actionable points and follow-up on changes and behaviors to track improvement. The Start, Stop, Continue Template can be saved and consulted later on.
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