Starfish retrospective #3

starfish retrospective
starfish retrospective

The Retrospective Starfish is a classic retrospective in the Scrum world. Seeing many requests around this retrospective, I decided to offer you an article on this one.

This retrospective Starfish purpose to look for axis of improvement while announcing in parallel the negative points of the progress of the current sprint. A classic certainly but effective.

Feel free to read our other retrospectives on this dedicated page:

Our retrospectives

Material required for the Starfish retrospective

For the Starfish, you will need to prepare the following equipment:

  • post-it
  • a white board or large sheets post’it (paper board)
  • erasable markers

The time needed for Starfish is 30 minutes.


Different steps of Starfish

Here are the different steps to do this new retrospective.

Step 1: The Scrum Master will draw on the board or on kraft paper on the wall, creating 5 separate areas. He will write a title in each zone: more, less, start, stop, keep:


starfish retrospective
starfish retrospective

Step 2: It will leave 5 minutes to the participants to fill post’it to indicate what they think:

  • still be negative within the team (less)
  • be positive in the team (more)
  • have to stop within the team (stop)
  • try to start with the team (start)
  • don’t have to change (keep)

Step 3: He will take 10 minutes to read what all members have put on the board; in case of doubt, the person who wrote the post’it will be able to share his idea in a few words.

He will also benefit at this time to gather the post’it dealing with the same idea to improve the legibility of different ideas raised by the team.

Step 4: The SM will then purpose to the participants to take 5 minutes to note axis of improvement on the post’it knowing that they will be able to put only one idea per post’it.

Step 5: Then, he will purpose to make a dot voting to vote the 3 most important axis of improvement that we will do at the beginning of the next sprint.


Conclusion Starfish retrospective

Very popular, this starfish retrospective is a classic that has already proven its efficiency. Don’t hesitate to animate it within your teams.

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About Judicaël Paquet 368 Articles
Judicaël Paquet (agile coach and senior devops) My Engagements in France and Switzerland: - Crafting Agile Transformation Strategies - Tailored Agile Training Programs - Raising Awareness and Coaching for Managers - Assessing Agile Maturity and Situational Analysis - Agile Coaching for Teams, Organizations, Product Owners, Scrum Masters, and Agile Coaches Areas of Expertise: Scrum, Kanban, Management 3.0, Scalability, Lean Startup, Agile Methodology.

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