The Four L’s is probably one of the simplest retrospectives you can do; super easy to facilitate and super easy for a team to grasp. You could use this retro in practically any team when looking to reflect back on a sprint, project, event or situation.
This activity will draw out a broad range of learnings that covers the good, the bad and the ugly, in a simple and transparent way. It gives everyone a voice and will become an essential retrospective in your toolkit.
Asking questions may be helpful to get the team to unpack some of the more complex issues that have been raised through the Four L's. They may be directed at members of the group who’ve had less of a chance to speak. Here are some easy examples:“What is the real issue here?”Great for getting straight to the root of a discussion, especially if the team are going round in circles over a theme.“Is there anything else here that we haven’t covered?”Helps make sure everyone has contributed. Also good for moving a repetitive conversation along.“What advice would you give to another team in this situation?”Enables the team to step out of the picture and look in with a fresh perspective. Helps draw out positive learnings.“Has anyone got a different view on this?”Gives those who maybe don’t agree with the current conversation an opportunity to speak up.“Is there anyone who hasn’t spoken on this theme yet that would like to contribute?”Offers opportunity for the quieter members of the team to speak.
Getting ‘actions’ from a retrospective shouldn’t be the goal, but learnings should crop up quite naturally. Once a topic has been discussed, and you’ve asked those challenging questions, you can finish by asking:
“What can we learn from this and take forward, so we grow as a team?”
Ask this as you move through the board, or at the end once every theme has been covered. It’s a great way to draw the conversation to a positive conclusion and it may naturally provoke an ‘action’ for the team to takeaway.It’s important that you let the team come up with their ‘actions’ and take responsibility for them. A great coach brings awareness and prompts responsibility; this way, the team will feel like they own their actions and are far more likely to follow through.