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Retrospective is a very important part of SCRUM. It should be fruitful enough to promote Kaizen. It’s very essential for a SCRUM Master to think of ways and techniques to conduct retrospectives such that the team feels involved and gets maximum chance to participate and contribute.

Today I tried this 4 L’s Technique with our SCRUM Team for retrospective. We have been doing our retrospectives using the simplest GOOD-BAD-UGLY or START-STOP-CONTINUE for the last 6 Sprints and I was keen to experiment a bit. This technique was about asking the team to write their views about LIKED, LACKED, LEARNED and LONGED an putting them up on a wall with four quadrants. Then we divided ourselves into four groups and sorted/grouped the cards. Lastly, we discussed all four L’s, focusing more on LACKED and LONGED and picked up areas to work on for next sprint.

it was pleasant that the board literally had heaps of post-its for this one which means the technique encouraged people to jot down as much as possible. But surprisingly, it was not received very well overall due to some reasons. To Summarize:

— Most of the team members found it difficult and confusing to differentiate between LACKED and LONGED. 

— There were lot of duplicate entries in Lacked and Longed. Something which someone longed for belonged to Lacked category for someone else!!

— There were similar things lying in the Learned and Lacked pool as well. There were some interesting post-its in Learned section. 

— It was the longest retrospective I have attended so far and had maximum number of things to discuss. There were lots of suggestions/feedbacks/queries which is a good sign and I can say the technique is worth a try.

Have you tried this with your team? If yes, how was your experience?

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