Although not a Lean specific concept, “Start, Stop, Continue” is one way to gain quick feedback on process improvements and rapid experimentation. Typically “Start, Stop, Continue” is done in a group or team environment and involves open discussion. The goal is to take a look at something and determine how it is performing. This could be a process, a strategic vision, or even an individual’s performance (in a one-on-one setting).
Participants are told to write down their ideas on what should be started, what should be stopped, and what should continue.
- Start: utilizing visual controls to reduce errors, holding daily team meetings to increase open communication, or addressing problems that have begun to occur since the last review of a process
- Stop: holding meetings that have no clear purpose, doing something because “that’s the way it’s always been,” or not listening to employee’s ideas on how to improve
- Continue: ensuring every customer has a positive experience, seeking ways to improve, or coaching teams effectively
After everyone has done some brainstorming on their own, the group can come back together and prioritize action items. This can be done by an affinity diagram or any prioritization method. Overall, the “Start, Stop, Continue” method lends itself to quick discussions that can focus on anything from a company’s strategy, to coaching an individual employee.