Starfish Retrospective was developed by Patrick Kua. It is different because it focuses primarily on activities and actions in your current project. People talk about specific actions that will have an impact on the outcome of the agile sprints for the current project. Everything that comes out from this sprint is highly actionable.
Unlike the old school retrospective, Starfish makes the team think rather than just state the current state of things. The goal is to improve the performance of future sprint based on the learnings from the current sprint for the current project.
Like the real Starfish this agile retrospective also has five key points that form the core of the format. Let’s look at each of them.
What’s keeping the sprint together and effective? Things that you think make a difference in the performance of the team. Things that you need to “keep doing”. It could be anything that impacts the team. Let’s look at some examples of “Keep Doing”:
Are there things that are becoming counter productive for the team? Things that are necessary but only in limited quantities. Identifying them in the sprint retrospective can help teams save time and energy and redirect them to areas which need more support.
Some things are working and making the sprint more productive. What are they? Can we do more of it? Can we extend it to the entire team? These are things that are making the sprint better and the team can double down on and increase its impact even more. Some examples of “More Doing” in for agile Starfish sprint retrospective are:
What is slowing the team down or putting a damper on the team culture and spirit? If it keeps happening it will cause the team to fall apart. These things need to completely stop right now. Examples of things you need to stop doing are:
Is there any way to improve our sprints? Anything you have read lately that we should try? Or worked well in your previous teams? Any ideas that have the potential to make the team better can be brought up in the retrospective. The team can then decide which ones to start doing?
A great way to kickstart your starfish retrospective is through icebreaker questions. It brings the team together and gets everyone talking. Here are some examples of ice breaker questions:
We’ve got over 300 more icebreaker questions for you to pick from. Enjoy 🥳