The 4Ls Retrospective Template

Liked, learned, lacked, and longed for. Four simple words to dig into both the positive and negative aspects of your last Sprint.
4Ls Retrospective Illustration for Neatro
4Ls Retrospective Template in Neatro

What is the 4Ls retrospective?

This retrospective's level of difficulty is medium
Difficulty Level

Facilitating Agile retrospectives is no easy job, especially in a remote work context.

Are you a Scrum Master, an Agile Coach, or simply a team member willing to facilitate your next team retrospective? Are you looking for a simple but powerful retrospective template that will help your team grow?

Well, search no more! The 4Ls Retrospective (or Four Ls) template is a very popular and versatile technique used by many Agile teams all over the world.

The 4Ls model, used as a retrospective technique, is a great way for your team to gather information and reflect on past behaviors and events.

With this activity, your team discussions will be divided into four different columns. Oh, by the way, the Ls stand for Liked, Learned, Lacked, and Longed for.

Let’s see how your team could generate fruitful insights, thanks to the 4Ls!

The 4 elements of the 4Ls retrospective

Retrospective Column Liked in Neatro
Things you really enjoyed.
e.g., our CEO congratulated us on our latest feature release.
Retrospective Column Learned (Appris) in Neatro
Things you have learned.
e.g., we should always ask for our Product Marketing team's help when crafting a Product release note.
Retrospective Column Lacked in Neatro
Things the team missed.
e.g., we missed some SEO expertise to efficiently address our homepage redesign.
Retrospective Column Longed for in Neatro
Longed for
Something you wished for.
e.g., spend more time doing backlog refinement all together.

Why & when should you use the 4Ls retrospective template?

As we mentioned, the 4Ls retrospective is super easy to set up. This quality could give you a considerable number of occasions where this template would help you gather remarkable insights.

Of course, you could select this facilitation technique for recurring retrospectives - many Scrum Masters do it!

But let’s say your team runs frequent retrospectives with the same model, over and over again. If you want to bring fresh perspectives to your next retrospective without having to spend too much time preparing for the activity, the 4Ls might be a great fit.

The great versatility of the 4Ls retrospective could also allow you to use this template outside of retrospective meetings.

Many teams actually run the 4Ls to conduct an event post-mortem (such as a conference) to gather feedback from the public and the event’s management committee. If you’re working on projects with external actors (e.g., agencies, consultants), think about shaping your next project post-mortem with the 4Ls method.

You could also use the 4Ls retrospective technique as a self-evaluation to review your personal performance.

Simply put, any activity made to foster continuous improvement (for a team, the people behind a project or an event, or just for yourself) could definitely be efficiently run with the 4Ls retrospective template.

Where can I find the 4Ls retrospective?

The 4Ls retrospective technique was designed to give a high level of flexibility to your retrospectives.

You can try the 4Ls retrospective model with your team for free by signing up for Neatro. No credit card is required. Note that participants do not need to create accounts to join an online retrospective in Neatro.

Discover Neatro's retrospective templates