What is the 4L’s Retrospective?

The 4L’s Retrospective offers a clear framework for helping individuals within Agile teams evaluate and assess the relative success of their contributions during a sprint by asking them to organize their ideas across four primary axes:

How to run a 4L’s Retrospective

Step 1
The facilitator should give participants five to ten minutes to jot down ideas on sticky notes for each of the four areas above. Each sticky note should represent only one idea.

Be sure to use “polling booth mode” to ensure participants don’t inadvertently influence each other with their ideas before it’s time to share.

Step 2
Have all participants take turns sharing what they wrote on their own sticky notes. It is recommended to share ideas in this order: Liked, Learned, Lacked, and Longed For.

While this is happening, the facilitator should organize similar ideas into groups to visually display when there are overlapping sentiments among the team.

Step 3
The facilitator should then give participants five to ten minutes to come up with ideas for improvement. Once the time is up, they should take turns sharing their ideas with the team.

Step 4
Finally, the facilitator should invite participants to vote and select the most relevant ideas to pursue. The three ideas with the most votes will be incorporated into an action plan—with a “person in charge” appointed to each task to ensure execution and accountability.

Tips and advice from a seasoned Agile Coach

Amélie Aucomte, Agile Coach/Scrum Master at Infopro Digital, has led many retrospectives in the past. Here is her advice for getting the most out of them:

Suggested resources to learn more about the 4L’s Retrospective