4L’s is a popular framework used to run sprint retrospective meetings. It was developed by Mary Gorman and Ellen Gottesdiener and is extremely easy to setup and run. Instead of the usual three questions this one asks participants to answer four. The team gets together and talks about what they liked, learned, lacked and longed for in the past sprint or project. As a result you end up with a lot more feedback with this technique.
Let’s look at what each L stands for:
What was your favorite part about the last sprint or project? It could be one or many. Some examples I have seen before:
Every sprint or project provides you an opportunity to learn something. There is no limits or boundaries set on what the learning might be. It could be technical or skill development or something completely unrelated to work. Some example are:
Lacked or longed can often be confused with each other. Lacked focuses on what didn’t work in the sprint when looking back. Examples of lacked are:
As you can see the feedback collected through the 4L’s can vary a lot. It can be tactical or strategic in nature. Or sometimes wishful thinking 🤣 . Unlike some of the other frameworks the 4L’s might not be actionable immediately. It is not designed for it. The goal is to provide an empty canvas to the participants and let them go as wide or narrow on thinking about how things are working.