Starfish is a great data-gathering activity to foster the thinking around practices and the value the team gets from them. It helps team members understand each other’s perceived value on such practices.

Running the activity:

  1. Split the canvas in five areas:
    * Keep doing – something the team is doing well and whose value you acknowledge.
    * Less of – something already being done; you see some value, but would rather cut down a little bit.”
    * More of – something already being done which you believe will bring more value if done even more.
    * Stop doing – something that is not adding value or, even worse, is getting on the way.
    * Start doing – a new idea or something you have seen working before that you would like to bring to the table.
  2. Ask participants to individually write notes on sticky notes for each of the areas.
  3. Discuss with the group about the notes.

We have learned this activity from Pat Kua. This is a common retrospective activity for data gathering. It is an alternative to keep the team engaged while slightly changing the format. A very common variation is to have three areas: keep doing, less of, and more of.


Remote-team advice: This activity works well for remote teams. Use a remote board of your choice.

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