If you are looking for a retrospective that will help you make immediate changes then start, stop and continue is the way to go. It is an action oriented retrospective style. At the end of each sprint the team comes up with real actionable ideas to implement. Let’s look at each section:
Looking back at your last sprint or set of work that the team did, what do you think was missing? Is there anything we can “start” doing that will benefit the team’s performance? It can be a wide variety of things which are actionable and can be implemented by the team. Let’s look at some examples that we have come across in the past
1.Our product had too many breaking changes in the last release. Can we start doing a staged release to only some customers first before rolling out the updates to everyone?
2.We have not been documenting major decisions in the release. It has led to some confusion and time wastage across the board. Let us start documenting all important decisions regarding tickets in Jira
3.This one sort of fell off the calendar. It is fun to hangout as a team and not talk about work!! Anybody wants to restart team lunches again?
Out of everything that we have been doing to ship our product what is not working and really needs to Stop? It can be anything from how some actions are deteriorating the team spirit to short term thinking affecting the long term reliability of the product. Examples you will see in your sprint retrospective meetings:
1.There were too many meetings during the sprint. Can we take a hard look at all the meetings and stop having ones that are not necessary?
2.We cut down the scope of testing in order to release the product. This needs to STOP. We cannot ship sub standard products. We owe it to our customers.
3.The scope of the release was changed mid sprint. This needs to STOP. Or we stop saying we do scrum 😤 👿
An opportunity to emphasize and highlight the things that are working for the team and what we need to keep doing more off. Retrospective meetings can get brutal and this column helps us recognize and feel good about what’s working. Also a great place to give kudos to teammates. Examples below:
1.I just joined the team and everyone has been great in helping me get setup and running.
2.The design and requirements matched! Let’s keep doing that more 🤣
3.We put a lot of good tracking on the features we released this time around. We need to do more of that in order to make data driven decisions and keep track of the performance of the product.
That’s the gist of it. Start Stop Continue is a retrospective framework where what you collect is highly actionable. The rest of the process is the same as that with other retrospective formats:
1.Group similar feedback together. You will see certain themes emerge
2.Vote on the feedback to prioritize which ones you will tackle first
3.Create a list of action items with owners and due dates
4.Check back in the next retrospective meeting to find the progress that has been made
Begin your START-STOP-CONTINUE retro
It’s great to start every retrospective meeting on a light note. Icebreaker questions are a great way to do that. Here are a few:
1.You’re cooking for the whole team, what is your signature dish?
2.If you could have an animal sidekick, what animal would it be
3.What color best describes your personality today?