In analyzing a team's performance, it is important to touch on the positive and negative aspects of the process and identify areas of learning and improvement. The 4Ls retrospective template adequately addresses these topics in a collaborative and constructive way, making it the preferred evaluation tool many project managers use every time their team completes a task.
What is a 4 L's retrospective?
The 4Ls retrospective was designed by business systems specialists Mary Gorman and Ellen Gottesdiener as an evaluation tool for an agile project or any kind of team process. The 4Ls stand for Liked, Learned, Lacked, and Longed for. Each team member will share their thoughts on these four aspects during the retrospective. It is considered by many to be a great method for collecting feedback for evaluating performance and identifying areas for team growth.
Benefits of using a 4 L's retrospective
The 4Ls retrospective is significantly more objective than the other commonly used methods. It covers a broader range of project procedures, which is one of this technique's biggest benefits. Because it reaches further back into the earliest parts of the project, it allows the team to address more areas of improvement instead of just focusing on creating solutions to the more recent or more pressing issues.
Another benefit of the 4Ls retrospective is that it is very easy to implement. Unlike other methods that are quite complex and require a lot of effort to set up alone, this method is simple and easy to use, allowing for the fully engaged participation of all the team members.
When to use a 4 L's retrospective
Although many situations would benefit from a 4Ls retrospective, the best time to use it is when you have just finished a project that you expect to do again in the future in some form. You are looking for ways to improve your process without changing the whole thing.
The 4Ls retrospective is also great for more intense discussions. With teams that have been working together for a long time, this kind of retro can bring up the more challenging aspects of the project and even those that would need a massive restructuring to overcome.
On the other hand, the same retrospective would also benefit a newly formed group or team. The feedback and insights from all the members can increase unity and make the team more cohesive, which is certainly good for future projects.
How to run a 4 L's retrospective
Doing a 4Ls retrospective traditionally using a regular whiteboard in the office is possible. But a much more efficient way is to do it online using Boardmix's 4 L's retrospective template. This way, the team members can be in different geographical locations or time zones, and you can still run the retrospective with everyone actively involved.
A great thing about the Boardmix template is that it is very easy to use. Just open it and share it electronically with your team. Everyone can add feedback for each of the 4 Ls using various tools available with the template.
In the Liked section, you will enter the good things about the project you liked. The Learned section would be for the lessons or realizations you had while working on the project. In the Lacked section, you can list everything missing, like a particular tool, insufficient time, and so on. Finally, the Longed for the section is for what you think the team should include or work on for the next project so that you can get an even better outcome.