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This is an easy and common way to structure a retrospective asking team members what they would start, stop and continue doing.

The start items are things a team member thinks the team should add to its process. Some examples would be:

  • Showing the software to customers early
  • Start doing pair reviews
  • Validate acceptance criteria early and with 2-3 customers
  • Time box daily standups
  • Limit work in process to 5 user stories

Stop list items are things that a participant or the whole team thinks is useless, inefficient or waste of time. The team should stop doing these. Examples from past retrospectives include:

  • Checking in code without being sure all tests will pass
  • Taking more than 15 minutes for daily scrum meetings
  • Skipping product backlog refinement meetings when we’re feeling behind at the end of a sprint

The continue list contains items the team would like to continue to emphasize but that are not yet habits. So any of the start or stop items above could go onto the continue list and stay there for a few sprints.

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