Here's how the start stop continue exercise works:
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?)
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 can "dehassle" your team.)
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.)
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. Exec 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.
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Editor's Note: This blog was originally published on May 16, 2012 and has been updated.