Stop, Start, Continue and Appreciate is a simple but effective retrospective technique that is fun. It creates practical ideas, valuable suggestions and qualitative input for team-based improvements.
When to use Stop, Start, Continue and Appreciate
Giving constructive feedback is an art. Though, necessary to learn and to make it better the next time around.
Read > How to rephrase negative feedback
This retrospective exercise allows all members, participants or collaborators to share what they think should be stopped, started and continued. Furthermore, it helps the individual to express what was great and appreciated.
Many teams use this technique at the end of a workshop, agile sprint, quarter or event.
How to use?
The SSCA technique is simple, fun and effective and can be done virtually or face-to-face. You might like to use Mural, the whiteboard of your virtual meeting or on paper using the template below. You could also collect feedback, anonymously (if sensitive) ahead of your session using an online form or survey tool. And, if f2f, we recommend using 4 flip-charts so participants, peers, colleagues or team members can circle their ideas and comments.
The beauty of this technique is that this kind of feedback is light but still valuable. You don’t ask directly what went wrong, or about the negatives. Here, collaborators create together a diverse and qualitative feedback that leads to actions and follow ups.
We recommend experimenting by changing the order around so that you appreciate what is great and what should be continued first, then what needs to stop, and finally, what needs to start. Remember starting new things is less important than continuing what’s successful. So, try Appreciate, Continue, Stop, Start!
Whichever order you do it in, together with your collaborators, you can agree on the most important steps to be more productive and successful, and agreeing on actionable points at the end of your session.