Start, Stop, Continue Examples And Templates

Understanding what you’re doing right or wrong and what you can do to improve is the key to personal and organizational growth.

Start, Stop, Continue is a simple framework that empowers you to give and collect valuable and actionable feedback from your teams or even through self-evaluation.

It allows people who participate in the exercise to identify actions or practices that are desirable, irrelevant, or worth repeating.

The ease and directness of this method of analysis makes it ideal for all kinds of teams and feedback situations. The beauty of Start, Stop, Continue exercises is that they can be completed asynchronously or as an in-person activity during team meetings.

Despite its simplicity, if you’ve never used the Start, Stop, Continue feedback model, you might be unsure of how to proceed or how to design the framework to suit your needs.

This article is going to cover the elements that make up the Start, Stop, Continue framework, as well as examples and templates you can use to get your first session off the ground.

The Elements Behind the Start, Stop, Continue Model

Whether you’re creating your Start, Stop, Continue framework on paper, whiteboard, spreadsheet, or using a digital format, you’re going to have three sections that will help you answer three essential questions.

1. Start: What should you be doing?

This is where you get to come up with ideas for what you should begin doing as a person, team, or business to achieve success and reach your goals.

2. Stop: What should you discontinue doing?

If there are actions, behaviors, practices, or activities that you’re currently engaging in that are undesirable that aren’t bringing positive results, and therefore need to be eliminated, the Stop section is where you will note them down.

3. Continue: What should you keep on doing?

To come up with a Continue list, you and your team need to think about the ideas, actions, and attitudes that have positively impacted your operations and should be continued so you can keep benefiting from them.

Start, Stop, Continue Templates

Ready to reflect on your past actions and current practices to determine what is serving you, what is worth implementing, and what is slowing you down? Use these templates to get started.

1. Start, Stop, Continue Whiteboard Template

Download for Google Slides | Microsoft PowerPoint

The great thing about this template is that it uses a format you are already familiar with. Chances are your business owns a whiteboard that you use to brainstorm ideas or write down your plans on sticky notes that are then pasted to the board.

This Start, Stop, Continue template gives you the same thing in a digital format. Each sticky note column is color coded to represent the element that belongs in it.

The green sticky notes are for activities you want to begin doing, the red notes are for activities that should be discontinued because they are not adding value to the organization.

Finally, the orange sticky notes are for adding activities that are yielding positive results that your team would like to continue building on.

The template is available in slide format that can be easily opened, edited, and shared using Google Slides or Microsoft PowerPoint.

So whether you’re hosting a virtual or in-person meeting to determine your Start, Stop, and Continue objectives, you can use the template to collate and sort out ideas.

Also Read: Constructive Criticism Examples In The Workplace

2. Start, Stop, Continue Manager Feedback Template

Download for Adobe PDF | Microsoft Word | Excel

As a manager, your policies, actions, and attitudes may not be as well-received by your direct reports as you think. This is why it’s important to seek honest opinions about your leadership skills from the people you’re leading.

This Start, Stop, Continue template makes it easy for you to gather structured feedback from your team on what’s working or not working for them with regard to your management style.

The template has different fields where participants can enter their names, the date the assessment is taking place, and the name of the manager whose performance they are reviewing.

However, you can eliminate the “Employee Name” section to allow for anonymous feedback. People are likely to be more forthcoming and sincere in their appraisal if they know that whatever they say can’t be traced back to them.

You can use the insights you glean from their feedback reports to figure out what areas you need to improve and how you can serve your team better.

3. Start, Stop, Continue Team Planning Template

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If you’re trying to create a growth strategy or development plan for your team for the coming quarter or year, this Start, Stop, Continue template from Miro can be a good foundation to build on.

The template features three columns for the three elements and each of them is represented by a specific color: Green for Start, Red for Stop, and Black for Continue. Each column also contains three sticky notes that you can use to record your feedback and recommendations for the team.

You can call a meeting and have your team brainstorm ideas about things they think you should be doing, things they would like to put a stop to, and current practices they want to keep going.

If you need to add more notes to each column, you can simply copy and paste the sticky notes.

The template is simple and easy to understand and can be edited, downloaded, and shared with team members for free.

4. Start, Stop, Continue Project Management Template

Download for Adobe PDF | Microsoft Word

This template comes in handy when you are working on a project or have just completed a development run and you want to review how the process went, what is worth reiterating, and where mistakes were made.

You can organize a retrospective session and have everyone on the team come up with suggestions on how to refine processes going forward to achieve increased productivity and efficiency.

This template has a field where you can enter the topic you want to discuss and set up a date when you will come back to review the document and measure the progress you’ve made toward the things you want to start, stop, or continue doing.

Have your team members share their input on the actions they think your projects would benefit from, the practices or experiments that should be overhauled, and the ones that are yielding fruit.

Record their responses in the appropriate Start, Stop, or Continue field. You can take things a step further by discussing the feedback generated and have the team propose specific steps you can take to address the points raised.

Enter this action plan along with the name of the person who will be accountable for it into the “Action Items” section of the template.

5. Start, Stop, Continue Company Performance Review Template

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To stay agile and progressive, your organization has to look back on the moves you have made in the past. Not all the stuff you try will be a success, and that’s perfectly okay.

But you do need to evaluate what worked, what failed, and why it happened so you can keep building on the good and do away with the bad. From there, you can come up with new ideas you want to explore and start putting them into action.

This Start, Stop, Continue template by Neatro can help your company boost productivity and efficiency across the board by identifying what you’re getting right and where there is room for improvement.

The template is divided into three columns and it features icons, color tags, and comment boxes where participants can submit their ideas for.

You can access the interactive version of the template which includes an icebreaker game with over 200 questions to get the brain juices flowing via the Neatro app by signing up for a free trial or purchasing a subscription.

Also Read: Destructive Criticism Examples & How To Handle It?

6. Start, Stop, Continue Worksheet Template

Download for Google Docs | Adobe PDF | Microsoft Word

If you’re looking for a simple Start Stop Continue template that you can quickly edit or have your entire team fill out, this template is exactly what you’re searching for.

The template is divided into two sections. The preliminary section includes fields for recording the company name, the name of the person or team filling out the worksheet, and the date the exercise takes place.

The second section houses tables for each element in the Start Stop Continue framework. This is where you or your team gets to write down the actions you should be taking to improve, the actions that are no longer serving you and should be stopped, and the actions that are worth repeating.

But that’s not all. The template requires participants to provide a reason to support each Start, Stop, and Continue action that they propose.

This will push participants to think through their ideas and make an argument for why the changes they recommend should be carried out, rather than contributing their opinions to the exercise simply to fulfill all righteousness.

This Start Stop Continue template is available in Google Docs, Microsoft Word, and Adobe PDF file formats. So all you have to do is download it in your preferred format and get to work.

Also Read: Best Gravity Form Alternatives

7. Start, Stop, Continue Team Feedback Template

Download for Adobe PDF | Microsoft Word | Google Docs | Excel

Regardless of what industry you’re in or the department you belong to, your team can benefit from using this Start Stop Continue template to find out how people feel about certain tasks the team has undertaken recently.

The template is a bit more detailed than most of the options you will find. It has a table where you can enter general information such as the purpose or subject of the feedback, the date of the review, and the name of the person responsible for supervising the process.

It also has a column on the left where team members can record their names before proceeding to fill out the appropriate sections with their ideas and recommendations.

As expected, the template has separate tables Keep (Continue), Start, and Stop. It also has an additional column for Change, where you can record things you don’t want to completely stop doing but would like to modify so it works better.

The template is available in different file formats including Microsoft Excel, Adobe PDF, Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Docs, and Microsoft Word. So you can download it for future use for free in your preferred format and have your entire team collaborate to flesh it out.

8. Start, Stop, Continue Business Growth Template

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The point of using a Start, Stop, Continue framework is to help you streamline your processes and tasks so that you know what activities to prioritize and which ones to scale back.

This way, you can focus on actions that have already been proven to work or are likely to contribute significantly to the growth of the business.

This Start, Stop, Continue template enables you to do just that by making it easy to collect actionable feedback from members of your team.

However, it goes a step further by breaking down the focus of the framework into three aspects: business owner, customers, and employees.

So instead of generalizing the feedback for the whole business, it allows you to be more specific and come up with ideas for improvement that target each of the company’s core stakeholders.

Your team can suggest actions the business owner should start taking, priorities they should scrap, and the practices that should be continued.

Then they can move on to what the business should begin offering customers, Stop offering them, or continue offering them.

Lastly, the team can share what they would like the company to start doing for them, the activities they could do without, and the organizational actions they are currently loving.

9. Start, Stop, Continue Personal Growth/Goals Template

Download for Adobe PDF | Microsoft Word

The use of the Start, Stop, Continue framework isn’t limited to businesses only. You can also use it for yourself to map out your goals and growth plans in a way that’s easy to understand and keep track of.

As you know, one of the keys to setting smart goals is to make them time-bound.

So at the top of this personal goals Start Stop Continue template there is a field where you can write down the time period during which you plan to accomplish the goals you set.

This could be three months, six months, or even a year. Just make sure the timing is realistic.

On the left-side column of the template, you will find color-coded rows for each element in the framework: Start (Green), Stop (Red), and Continue (Yellow). Each element has different columns for different areas of your life such as health, finances, career, and family.

For each of those areas, you can list out the actions you want to start doing to help you reach your goals, give up because they are getting in the way of achieving your goals, or keep doing because they align with your goals.

You can also edit the column headings and replace them with the specific areas of your life you want to target or even add additional columns for other endeavors.

10. Start, Stop, Continue Visual Template

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This template from Mural is perfect for people who want a visually appealing and professional-looking start, stop, and continue template they can use for presentations, important stakeholders meetings, or printing purposes.

It has a great layout that’s punctuated with color in all the right places to make it eye-catching, as well as a sidebar where you can include extra information about the exercise.

The template has icons to represent the Start, Stop, and Continue elements and sticky notes for typing out your comments and suggestions. You can customize the template by adding images, the company logo, and other brand assets to the footer area.

You can easily share your visual template with your entire team in person or virtually and have them all collaborate in filling out the sections with ideas.

11. Start, Stop, Continue Individual Employee Performance Review

Download for Adobe PDF | Microsoft Word | Excel

Are you a manager looking for a way to make performance reviews for your direct reports more action-oriented, digestible, and easy to monitor? Then this Start, Stop, Continue employee performance review template will certainly come in handy.

The template features multiple fields to record things like date, manager name, and employee name.

It also includes columns for the specific areas of the employee’s work performance that you want to review such as teamwork, communication, attendance, work quality, problem-solving skills, and more.

You can recommend practices they can adopt, put an end to, or carry on with to improve or maintain their performance going forward.

You have the option of editing the column header to reflect the particular areas you want to focus on for the performance review.

You can even have employees use the template to self-evaluate themselves, then you can discuss their responses along with your evaluation of their performance, to achieve better goal alignment.

Start, Stop, Continue Examples

Here are some examples of Start, Stop, Continue ideas and actions you can use for different situations.

Business Development

You can use the Start, Stop, Continue model to generate ideas on ways to retain customers, improve performance, and acquire new leads for your business. The exercise will produce responses along these lines.

Start

Stop

  • Not measuring the outcome of each action and delivering reports on a weekly basis.
  • Taking too long to respond to customers via support channels.

Continue

  • Hosting monthly informative webinars with industry experts.
  • Bi-weekly check-ins with top clients by an executive.

Team Performance

You can include the following examples of Start, Stop, Continue actions in your template.

Start

  • Offering training, courses, and learning development funds to aid skill acquisition.
  • Using a website blocker and time tracking tool to reduce time wasting.

Stop

Continue

  • Daily morning meetings to outline priorities.
  • Providing healthy breakfast and lunch options for employees working in office.

Sales and Marketing

Taking the time to review what’s working or broken in your sales and marketing approach can help boost the effectiveness of your promotional efforts. Here are some Start, Stop, Continue example actions you can build off of.

Start

  • Building an email list by offering gated content and free resources like templates, checklists, etc.
  • Leveraging influencer marketing to drive brand awareness and conversions.

Stop

  • Sharing the same content on different platforms verbatim.
  • Using stock images on social media pages.

Continue

  • Running paid ads on Google and Facebook.
  • Creating organic content to improve SERP rankings and grow monthly viewership for the website and blog.

Personal Goals

Whether you wish to advance in your career or take better care of yourself, using a Start, Stop, Continue framework can help figure out what to focus on to get closer to your goals. The actions for each element may look something like this:

Start

  • Reading for at least 20 pages a day.
  • Exercising 3-4 times a week.

Stop

  • Drinking more than one energy drink per day.
  • Procrastinating reviewing resume and applying to new jobs.

Continue

  • Eating, healthy, nutritionally-balanced meals every day.
  • Creating content for LinkedIn to improve visibility.

Development Sprint Retrospective

This Start, Stop, Continue example can be used by design and product development teams trying to figure out where to pump the brakes and how to get the most out of their next sprint.

Start

  • Using code completion software to speed up production times.
  • Pairing developers with quality assurance engineers on specific projects.

Stop

  • Starting standups late.
  • Letting standups run for hours.

Continue

  • Having the whole team present during sprint review meetings
  • Collaborate programming

Manager Feedback

The suggestions you get from this Start, Stop, Continue exercise on ways to improve your leadership abilities may include:

Start

  • Having regularly scheduled performance reviews for team members.
  • Taking more of an interest in your team members’ lives.

Stop

Continue

  • Being supportive and encouraging.
  • Having an open door policy.

Conclusion

Collecting and giving feedback or staying on top of your aspirations shouldn’t be a complicated affair.

Using the Start, Stop, Continue templates and examples above will help you determine what you are doing right and where you need to let go or try a different approach, so you can keep growing and getting better.

About Author

Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.