Retrospective Keep Drop Start: The Complete Guide to Boosting Your Scrum Team

The “Keep Drop Start” retrospective, also known as “Keep Stop Start,” is a favored model among Scrum teams globally for its effectiveness in driving the continuous improvement process within teams.

Excitingly, we have prepared a free Miro template to streamline the implementation of this retrospective for your team!

Keep Drop Start retrospective scrum Retrospective Keep Drop Start: The Complete Guide to Boosting Your Scrum Team

This retrospective model is crafted to assist your Scrum team in pinpointing what’s currently working well (Keep), what should be ceased (Drop), and what enhancements or new practices should be adopted (Start) for the upcoming sprint. It excels at not only spotlighting the positives but also at uncovering areas ripe for improvement, thereby cultivating a culture of continuous learning and bolstering team cohesion.

How to host a Keep Drop Start retrospective?

Facilitating a Keep Drop Start retrospective is straightforward and involves three key steps:

Preparation

Set up a board with three distinct columns: Keep, Drop, and Start, before the retrospective. This can be easily achieved on a physical whiteboard, a wall with sticky notes, or via a digital Miro template.

Discussion

Kick off the discussion with the “Keep” column, inviting each team member to reflect on and share the aspects they believe worked well and should be preserved for future sprints. Transition next to the “Drop” column to discuss what should be stopped or avoided. Lastly, in the “Start” column, encourage suggestions for new ideas or improvements to implement.

Conclusion

Wrap up the retrospective by reviewing the compiled ideas and determining the actionable steps to be taken. It’s crucial to assign responsibility for each action to ensure they are followed through and effectively implemented.

A Free Template for the "Keep Drop Start" Retrospective on Miro

Ready to launch your “Keep Drop Start” retrospective? Miro, known for enhancing collaborative sessions, offers a dynamic template to effortlessly guide your team through this reflective process. Its whiteboard functionality not only promotes active participation but also ensures that every team member can contribute their thoughts and insights in real-time.

The “Keep Stop Start” template on Miro is designed to facilitate structured discussions, creating separate spaces for each category: Keep, Drop, and Start. This organization aids in clearly defining areas of focus, making it simpler for your team to navigate through the retrospective. Additionally, the template incorporates point voting tools, allowing your team to collectively decide on priorities for the next sprint cycle.

To access this template, simply visit the Miro template library. There, you’ll find the “Keep Drop Start” template ready for use in your upcoming session. Unlike downloadable resources, this template is directly accessible within Miro’s platform, providing an interactive and engaging environment for your team’s retrospective.

If you’re seeking a versatile and straightforward approach for your next retrospective, exploring the Miro template library is a great starting point. Miro’s array of templates, including the “Keep Drop Start” model, is designed to support Scrum Masters and their teams in fostering a culture of continuous improvement and collaboration.

Embark on your retrospective journey with Miro and discover the ease and effectiveness of using their templates to enhance your team’s agile practices.

Popular Variations of the Keep Stop Start Retrospective

While the “Keep Drop Start” model is invaluable for Scrum Masters, various adaptations can further stimulate your team’s continuous improvement journey:

The “Start Doing, Continue Doing, Stop Doing” Retrospective

This variant mirrors the “Keep Drop Start” model closely, requiring team members to identify actions to start, continue, or stop doing. We’ll delve into why the “Keep Drop Start” sequence is preferred over “Start, Continue, Stop” or other variations.

The “Mad Sad Glad” Retrospective

This approach prompts team members to reflect on their emotions during the sprint, identifying moments that made them mad, sad, or glad. It’s particularly effective for bringing emotional and psychological aspects into technical retrospectives.

The “What Went Well, What Didn’t Go Well” Retrospective

A straightforward model that asks team members to discuss the highs and lows of the sprint. The key difference from the Keep Stop Start model lies in its focus on team behaviors and practices evolution, as opposed to merely recounting positive and negative experiences.

The Sailboat or Speed Boat Retrospective

Viewing the project as a boat, this retrospective examines the “anchors” (problems) slowing the team down and the “wind” (helpful factors) propelling them forward. For an in-depth look at this model, check out our article on the Speed Boat retrospective.

Each retrospective variant has unique strengths, suitable for different team dynamics or situations. However, the simplicity and action-oriented nature of the “Keep Drop Start” model make it a popular and effective choice.

equipe scrum en retrospective sprint Retrospective Keep Drop Start: The Complete Guide to Boosting Your Scrum Team

Why prefer the "Keep Drop Start" model to "Start Stop Continue"?

In the ‘Start Stop Continue’ model, the conversation culminates with ‘What should we continue to do?’ Conversely, in the variant ‘Start Doing, Continue Doing, Stop Doing,’ the dialogue ends with ‘What should we stop doing?’ This sequence may not optimally guide teams into the phase of proposing new actions.

However, the ‘Keep Drop Start’ model shifts the focus, ending on ‘What should we start doing?’ This subtle reordering prompts teams to proactively consider new actions for improvement, fostering a mindset geared towards innovation and yielding more effective outcomes.

Conclusion

The “Keep Drop Start” retrospective is a pivotal tool for any Scrum Master seeking structured team development. It emphasizes identifying practices worth continuing, eliminating, and adopting anew, making it an essential mechanism for fostering team growth and efficiency.

This guide has outlined the methodology behind this retrospective model and highlighted the advantages of using collaborative tools like Miro to facilitate online sessions. We’ve also explored various retrospective formats, emphasizing the constructive nature of the “Keep Drop Start” approach.

In pursuit of continuous improvement, don’t hesitate to experiment with different models and tailor them to your team’s unique needs. The ultimate goal of any retrospective is to support your team’s evolution, enhancing collaboration and effectiveness.

Utilize our free Miro template to streamline your “Keep Drop Start” retrospective, and embark on a journey of happy retrospecting!

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Ahmed BEN SALEM

Strongly involved in Agile methodologies, I have held the roles of Scrum Master, Product Owner and Release Train Engineer for SAFe, Scrum and DevOps projects. My approach focuses on people and stakeholder collaboration, creating environments conducive to innovation and performance.

Since 2016, I have successfully led several Agile software development projects for companies of all sizes, including Odigo, Orange and PSA. My solid experience in Agile methodologies, in particular Scrum and SAFe, has enabled me to work with multicultural teams from countries such as the USA, India, Vietnam and Morocco.

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