Starfish Retrospective

reflect on shared activities and gather ideas for improvements

Starfish Retrospective

What is a Starfish Retrospective?

Starfish Retrospective is a reflection method that enables participants to express feedback about shared activities and gather ideas for improvements. It's named starfish because it has five key areas:

  • Start – What should we start doing?
  • Stop – What should we stop doing?
  • More – What should we do more of?
  • Less – What should we do less of?
  • Keep – What should we keep doing?

How does a Starfish Retrospective work?

Step 1: Explain the Starfish Retrospective

Explain the five key areas of the Starfish Retrospective using simple language. You can also use additional questions to make it easier for participants to visualize what they might add to starfish. Below you find some good questions to ask.

  • Start – "What should we start doing? Is there something on your mind, that you think would be valuable to start implementing? Have you seen something somewhere else, that would be great for us to copy?"
  • Stop – "What are we doing, that is more work than it's creating value? What things slow us down, that we should better stop doing?"
  • More – "What are we doing right now, that we should double down on? What things should we go deeper on?"
  • Less – "What is important to keep, but works better if we do less of it? Where is the effort higher than the output we get with it?"
  • Keep – "What is already going well, that we should keep doing? What has proven valuable in the past? What should we at all cost try to keep up?"

Step 2: Give participants time to fill out the Starfish Retrospective

Give participants time to fill out the five key areas at once. Let them start with Keep ("What should we keep doing?") and instruct them to go clockwise around the starfish. That way they start on a positive note before they come to the "Less" and "Stop" part of the Starfish Retrospective.


What is a good example for a Starfish Retrospective?

A good example of a Starfish Retrospective is to do the method as part of a quarterly team planning meeting. The five key areas allow the team to reflect on their practices and activities in the past quarter and to get a good overview of what the team collectively values and would like to change.

Below, you see an example of what such a Starfish Retrospective could look like at the end. As you can see, this provides almost a 360 vision of everything that seems to be important for the team.


Who invented a Starfish Retrospective?


Starfish Retrospective Template Download

Starfish Retrospective Miro Template

  1. Click the button below, to open the Starfish Retrospective Miro Template
  2. In Miro click on the name of the board in the upper-left corner, to see the board info card
  3. Click on the Duplicate button in the info card to add the template into your own account.
Get Miro Template
Screenshot explaining how to duplicate a Miro template

Starfish Retrospective Mural Template

  1. Click the button below, to open the Starfish Retrospective Mural Template
  2. In the new tab click on Create mural from template to create a new Mural board with the template in your account

Tip: You can also click "Save for later" to save the template into your account and use it in the future.

Get Mural Template
Screenshot explaining how to duplicate a Mural template

Starfish Retrospective PDF Template

To download the Starfish Retrospective PDF Template, simply click the button below.

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Questions & Answers

How can I edit the Starfish Retrospective template?
Duplicate either the Miro or Mural Starfish Retrospective template. All you need for that is a free account on one of the platforms. From there you can fully edit and adapt the template content and colors to your own needs.
Can I share the Starfish Retrospective template with others?
Yes, absolutly! Feel free to share this template with your team, colleagues or organisation. The best way to do this, is to send them a direct link to the template.
Is it possible to print the Starfish Retrospective template?
Yes, you can print the Starfish Retrospective template. To do so, simply download the PDF version of this template. The PDF version is in A4 format, vector-based and can be printed in high-quality on large size. The best paper size for printing is A1, because it's still portable but gives you enough space to work on.
Do I need a payed Miro or MURAL account to use the Starfish Retrospective template?
No, a payed Miro or Mural account won't be necessary to use this template, because you can always use the free plan for both tools. Or if you exceed the limits of the free plan, you can always download this template as a PDF.
What is the license for this template?
This template is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0. In short that means, you are free to download, copy and share the template. But while doing so, you must give appropriate credit and provide a link to the Starfish Retrospective template website.