Starfish Retrospective

Starfish Retrospective

The fascinating world of marine life offers more than just beauty; it provides insights into team reflections. Drawing inspiration from the Starfish, with its five eyes on each of its legs, we have the Starfish retrospective format. While it shares similarities with the Start, Stop, Continue format, Starfish delves deeper, capturing a broader spectrum of team sentiments.

The Starfish format introduces two additional columns: Less of and More of. These additions ensure that no feedback falls through the cracks. Instead of merely stopping a practice, perhaps it just needs to be toned down a bit. This nuance makes the Starfish format especially valuable for larger teams, extended sessions, or situations where diverse perspectives are anticipated.

For those curious about its origins, the Starfish format was introduced by Patrick Kua. You can delve into his thoughts on the format in his Starfish post.

When to Choose Starfish

The Starfish format shines when teams are looking for a more nuanced approach to feedback. If your team has been conducting retrospectives for a while and feels that some feedback doesn't fit neatly into the traditional categories, Starfish offers that added depth. It's especially beneficial for larger teams or sessions where a diverse range of perspectives is anticipated, ensuring that every piece of feedback, whether it's about refining a practice or amplifying it, finds its rightful place.

👍 Keep Doing

What great things are we doing that we should continue?

This column is all about appreciation. It's where the team acknowledges practices that are working well and should be maintained. It's a nod to the positive strides the team is making.

⚠️ Less Of

What practices could be improved?

Not everything needs to be discarded. Some practices might be beneficial in smaller doses. This section allows the team to discuss what's overdone and could be scaled back for better results.

✅ More Of

What practices have potential if they were more widely adopted?

Here, the team can spotlight practices that show promise. Maybe it's a new approach that's been tested on a small scale and is ready for a broader rollout. This column encourages expansion of what's budding.

🚫 Stop Doing

What isn't working at all and should be dropped?

This is the space for candid feedback. It's about identifying what's not adding value or might even be detrimental. It's a call for change, ensuring the team doesn't remain stuck in unproductive routines.

🚀 Start Doing

What are some new ideas that we might do well to try?

Innovation is the lifeblood of progress. This column is an open invitation for fresh ideas, new strategies, and innovative approaches. It's about looking forward and embracing change.

The Starfish retrospective format is a testament to the idea that sometimes, inspiration can come from the most unexpected places. By offering a nuanced approach to feedback, it ensures that teams have a comprehensive view of their performance, paving the way for meaningful improvements.

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