Start-Stop-Improve: A simple workshop for your next retrospective meeting
Read time: 2 minutes
I’ve started using a new process for helping a group look at their current situation and brainstorm actions.
My go-to framework for retrospective meetings, also known as retrospectives or post-mortems, has always been the Team Review Workshop.
Today I’ll show you a different process that gets even better results so you can use it with your teams.
The framework is called Start > Stop > Improve and helps you facilitate a culture of learning, collaboration and continuous improvement.
The benefits include:
Let’s dive in.
All you need is a flip chart, Post-it notes and pens for this one.
Add to that a willing team looking to run a retrospective meeting and you’re good to go.
Step 1 - Think
Start by asking your group to consider the current situation.
Ask them to think about things we should Start doing as a team, Stop doing and continue doing with Improvements.
Give them 5 minutes max. Thinking only → No talking. We don’t want them to form any consensus at this stage.
Step 2: Write for “Start”
Invite them to write down their thoughts on the Start question.
What are the things we need to START doing as a team?
One thought per Post-it note. Put them up in the Start column.
Step 3: Write for “Stop”
Repeat Step 2 for the Stop question.
What do we need to STOP doing as a team?
Step 4: Write for “Improve”
Repeat for the Improve question.
What are the things we need to IMPROVE doing as a team?
The key to this step is not only to identify WHAT needs improving but also to include ideas on HOW to improve each one.
Step 5: Theming & Consensus Building
Challenge your group to work together to collect the thoughts into themes.
Encourage them to move the Post-its around, putting similar ones together. They can draw rings around the themes and name them.
It’s really important it’s them doing this and not you / the facilitator.
The second you play an active role, you start taking ownership of their ideas, and that’s not what you want to happen.
Start > Stop > Improve is an elegant framework to build consensus on their current situation.
I hope you’ll give it a spin.
That’s it for today.
I hope you enjoyed it.
Whenever you're ready, there are 3 ways I can help you: