4L Retrospective

What is the 4L Retrospective and what tips exist for conducting it?

Liked, Learned, Longed For and Lacked

A retrospective in Scrum is a meeting in which the development team reflects on processes, tools, skills, relationships, challenges and experiences after a sprint. The 4L Retrospective is a variant of this review. 4L stands for:

  • Liked: What did the team really enjoy about the sprint? In particular, what worked better than expected?
  • Learned: What new things did the team learn during the sprint? These can be technical or organizational aspects.
  • Longed For: What things did the team want to have during the sprint that weren’t available? These can also be technical aspects such as additional licenses for a certain software or non-technical aspects such as more regular communication with the product owner.
  • Lacked: What things could the team have done better in the sprint? What was missing in the sprint?


4L Retrospective

Tips for performing the 4L Retrospective

Like all retrospectives, the 4L retrospective should also be performed using a timebox. The length of the timebox is determined by the size of the team. Following the collection of corresponding points, these are grouped, discussed, evaluated and implemented accordingly in the next sprint. The Scrum Guide recommends to include the result of the retrospective in the backlog. Basically, the 4L retrospective is easy to set up for the moderator and easy to understand for the participants. This simplicity makes it popular and widely used.

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Here you will find additional information from our Smartpedia section:

Smartpedia: How does timeboxing work?

How does timeboxing work?

Smartpedia: What types of backlogs exist?

What types of backlogs exist?