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The Starfish Retrospective Template

The star of all retrospective templates! The Starfish is an excellent technique to foster thinking about actions and ideas that generate value.
The Starfish Retrospective Template

What is the Starfish retrospective template?

Designed by Patrick Kua, the Starfish retrospective idea helps teams assess the value generated by their own actions. Then, team members are invited to share new ideas to maximize value.

Rather than simply listing what went well, what didn't go well, and what the team could improve during the next Sprint, the Starfish retrospective template brings a brand new perspective rooted in the value delivered by the team.

The Starfish retrospective template also stands out from other retrospective ideas with its very comprehensive approach. And as proof, five columns shape this exercise.

First, the participants will discuss current techniques and practices operated by the team. The key here is to differentiate elements that bring value from those that do not. Then, participants will share their feelings on what the team should stop or start doing to optimize the value provided.

Maximize value the easy way with the Starfish retrospective activity! ⭐

Starfish Retrospective Template Board in Neatro

How does the Starfish retrospective format work?

The Starfish offers 5 retrospective questions to help your Agile team understand how they can improve:

The Start Question from the 4 Ls Retrospective Template
Start Doing
New actions or ideas to get more value.

What should we start doing? The team focuses on initiating new actions or practices geared towards enhancing productivity. The primary purpose here is to identify changes or implementations that can positively impact the team's overall performance.

The Stop Question from the 4 Ls Retrospective Template
Stop Doing
Things that are not bringing value anymore.

What should we stop doing? This question is about eliminating obstacles or activities that impede progress. The primary purpose is to identify and cease activities that do not contribute to the team's success or act as barriers.

The Keep Doing Question from the 4 Ls Retrospective Template
Keep Doing
Things we are doing well and that we consider valuable.

What should we continue? The team focuses on maintaining activities already yielding positive results. The purpose is to acknowledge and reinforce practices that have proven valuable, emphasizing their importance to the team's ongoing success.

The More of Question from the 4 Ls Retrospective Template
More Of
Things we do, which will maximize value if done even more.

What should we do more? The team directs its attention to amplifying behaviors or activities contributing to overall effectiveness. The goal is to recognize and encourage actions proven to be beneficial, suggesting an increase in their frequency or depth.

The Less of Question from the 4 Ls Retrospective Template
Less Of
Things we do that bring a limited value.

What should we do less? The team aims to reduce actions or behaviors negatively impacting productivity. The purpose is to address and mitigate aspects hindering progress.

Pourquoi le modèle de rétrospective Starfish est efficace ?

The Starfish retrospective idea is the perfect activity to give your team members the space they need to take stock of their practices and actions, and then democratically decide what needs to be changed or added to maximize the value delivered.

This technique will flawlessly fit into your Sprint retrospectives. Therefore, we suggest you use this model occasionally at the end of your Sprints.

However, the Starfish retrospective template is a broad activity with no fewer than 5 axes of introspection. New Agile teams might struggle with such an exercise. Therefore, we recommend you choose a more straightforward and shorter template if you tackle a retrospective meeting for the first time with your team. In this case, the Start Stop Continue or the What Went Well retrospective templates would be good picks for you.

The Starfish retro also works for project post-mortems or event retrospectives.

Icebreaker question examples for the Starfish retrospective template

To stimulate your team's reflections, it's crucial to kick off your Sprint retrospectives with energy and engagement, and this is where icebreaker questions come into play. To assist you in initiating your reflections, we've curated a selection of icebreaker questions specifically tailored to the Starfish retro activity. Whether you're a novice or experienced in utilizing this framework, these questions will help foster an atmosphere conducive to constructive reflection:

  • What have you been nostalgic about recently?

  • What's your zodiac sign? Do you care about it? Why?

  • Would you rather be reincarnated as a bird or a fish?

  • Invent a new holiday right away. How would people celebrate it?

  • Would you rather star in a Hollywood action movie or a theater masterpiece?

If you're eager to explore other ways to break the ice with your Agile team and enhance your retrospectives, you might consider trying different icebreaker questions or even a different activity, such as "Two Truths and a Lie."

Starfish Retrospective Icon
Try the Starfish activity for your next retrospective!
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