When to use this exercise
Start, stop and continue is a great team efficiency and focus but also a bonding exercise that ensures effective working models, which further supports the team reaching desired goals. This exercise can be done in pairs but also in a large group and it is a great way to run e.g. quarterly team meetings with this exercise, to make sure the team focuses on what is important to reach the desired goals.
The purpose of this exercise is to help your team become more productive and focus on what is important to reach its goals. By encouraging deeper collaboration and by assessing what tasks are working and which are not, you can strengthen your team’s efforts. Not only does the exercise support your team, but it also helps individuals to reflect upon their daily work, guiding them to putting efforts into what is working.
- Pick a topic that your team is working on and that affects everyone in the team. Some examples of topics that can be used are team tasks, financial plans, or marketing strategies. What is most important is to pick a topic everyone is connected to.
- Each participant should individually think about what actions they should start doing, stop doing and continue doing as a team. These are then written down on a sticky note.
Once everyone has written down their thoughts, it is time to place the notes on a whiteboard or virtual board with three columns. Each column represents one of the subjects: start, stop and continue.
After the notes are placed either on the whiteboard or on a virtual presentation, it is time to discuss and debate the list. Are there any disagreements? Anything that should be explained further? This is the time and place to share thoughts and to re-evaluate tasks and activities.
If some of the activities get disagreements within the team, it might be a good idea to put the activity between Stop and Continue and re-evaluate the activity at a later point.
Once everyone is pleased with the board and agree with the activities that the team should Start doing, stop doing, and continue doing, these activities can be implemented into to-do lists.