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Running an effective and productive remote meeting can be challenging. Managing remote agile teams adds an additional variable to ensuring your team can successfully collaborate. I have been managing remote teams for years and recently we have been using the 4Ls as a regular way to provide feedback and improve our meetings. By making the 4Ls a regular and quick exercise we have constructed a way to quickly gather the information that makes our meetings and team interactions better. Now you can too.
Atlassian provides a framework for the 4Ls retrospective here: https://www.atlassian.com/wac/team-playbook/plays/4-ls-retrospective-technique Atlassian states “The 4 Ls is a retrospective technique where team members identify what they loved, loathed, learned, and longed for in a project or sprint of work. Using this simple framework, reflect back on your work and use what you've learned to improve as a team.”
While this play focuses on projects the technique of the 4Ls can be used in many ways to reflect and learn how your team can improve.
We all have team meetings on a regular basis. We often become complacent as we attend regularly scheduled meetings. We do the bare minimum to participate and over time the meetings are not as productive as they could be. This is where the 4Ls play can be used. We regularly drop the 4Ls at the end of a meeting to collect the following information:
Our team members never know when we might ask them to complete the 4Ls. We randomly ask for them at the end of a meeting. We then take the feedback we get to improve or make changes to the meeting structure and activities that are performed during the meeting. Sometimes the changes are successful, sometimes they need to be reworked and other times we need to abandon them altogether.
By collecting this information on a regular basis, we can fine-tune our meetings, so our team members are getting more out of them. I believe this occurs because the team members listen knowing that the 4Ls could be dropped at the end of any meeting, are actively changing the meetings to meet their needs, and become more invested in the meetings since they helped design them.
The great thing about plays is you can apply them to so many aspects of your team’s work/work life. Be creative and think outside the box. How are you using the 4Ls to improve your team?
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