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What is a starfish retrospective?

A starfish retrospective is a tool that allows you to reflect on the progress made by a team while providing areas for improvement. To set up the analysis, the team discusses five categories of topics, visually represented by the five “arms” of the starfish:

  • What is negative for the team
  • What is positive for the team
  • What needs to be stopped within the team
  • What needs to be started by the team
  • What should not be changed

Each participant should write, show and explain what they think about each category. Then the team must synthesize and agree on these ideas in order to highlight the most important points. Once this is done, areas of improvement should be put in place.

Why is a starfish used?

A starfish is known for its simplicity of use but also by its effectiveness. Indeed, this tool highlights individual reflections in order to provide common areas for improvement.

Who uses a starfish?

While the starfish retrospective stems from Agile software development, all teams that want to take a step back and make improvements can use a starfish retrospective, no matter the sector or department.

How to set up a starfish board in iObeya?

  1. Enter your room, then click Configure the room at the bottom right of the screen.
  2. Add a blank board to your room.
  3. Select the Starfish Retrospective board background from the background catalog.
  4. Add in your tool dock a new set of Notes and rename them according to the different forces.
  5. Your board is now ready to be used.

Pro Tips on how to set up a starfish

We advise you to take a maximum of 5 minutes for the first phase of reflection. The total duration should not exceed 30 minutes. It is important that the participants’ speaking time is equal in order to highlight the areas of improvement that is the most accurate and relevant for the team.

Get started with this template

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