Start Stop Keep Examples: What Should You Adjust to Increase Performance?

By Tiffany Chepul

Start Stop Keep Examples: What Should You Adjust to Increase Performance?

Every quarter, my team and I complete a Start-Stop-Keep exercise to get us thinking. It's a valuable process that forces me to think: What should I Start, Stop, and Keep doing in the next 90 days to help my organization achieve its goals?

Here's how the start stop keep exercise works with examples

The week before the Company Quarterly Planning Session, the facilitator sends out the Start Stop Keep Tool to the executive team. It's three simple questions:

1. What should we Start doing? Starts are things we should consider doing that we are not doing now. What are some opportunities to improve?  

  • An email newsletter to our customers to increase engagement
  • Create an advisory board of our top clients to predict future needs
  • Start a month star of the team award to recognize employee excellence

2. What should we Stop doing? Stops are things that are not working and need to be scrapped or fixed. What is ineffective that we can stop doing to save our energy and bandwidth for other opportunities. These are items that take time and energy from your team and don't provide any benefit to the organization

  • Allowing use of electronics at meetings
  • Weekly TPS reports, as no action is taken on the data (would monthly be better?)
  • Not sticking to the weekly meeting agenda and time slot.

3. What should we Keep doing? Keeps are things that are working well, and we should continue doing. Focus on bright spots: Items that are working well that may be replicated across the company.

  • Monthly product update webinars
  • Bi-weekly check-ins with top 10 clients by a member of the executive team
  • A continuous rhythm of work with planning and adjustments.

For each question, participants should provide their top 3 answers that pertain to them and their department. Answers should be specific and actionable.

For even further insight, members of the executive team can have their direct reports do a Start Stop Keep, too. Executive team members can then use feedback from their entire team in their own Start Stop Keep.

Prior to the Planning Session everyone returns their answers to the session facilitator who compiles them into a clean list with duplicates removed. The feedback is then discussed during the "Review & Learn" portion of the Planning Session Agenda.

Download the free guide for meeting facilitation, which provides tips and tricks that help for in person and remote meetings!

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Want to learn more about Quarterly Planning? Check out these additional quarterly planning resources:

Value of Outside Facilitation for Quarterly and Annual Planning

Using Priorities and Quarterly Rocks to Align Your Organization (Infographic)

The Anatomy of a Great Quarterly Plan (Infographic)

Lean Quarterly Planning: How Complex Companies Drive Out Waste

10 Tips for a Successful Quarterly Planning Session (Video)

How to Choose the Right Priorities During Your Quarterly Planning Session

Tips to Help You Prepare to Facilitate Your Next One-Day Quarterly Planning Session

How Much Time Should I Allocate for My Quarterly Planning Session?

The Definitive Guide to Quarterly Planning

Rhythm Systems Quarterly Planning Resource Center


Editor's Note: This blog was originally published on May 16, 2012 and has been updated.

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