A clever way to get feedback without lots of negative feelings. Instead of asking about positives and negatives, which usually puts pressure on people, halts their thinking, moves them forward negativity. This tool helps to bring feedback in the same fashion, rather quickly, and on the same footing.
+ I Like gives the possibility to reinforce positives and focus on what to keep.
+ I Wish is a more positive outlook on what could be better, but instead of focusing on “I didn’t like”, it forces to think about proposed solutions on how to tackle those dislikes.
+ What If gives participants the power to “think outside the box,” be creative about maybe a boring topic, and take at least a part of the ownership of a common goal.
1. Make sure that your group knows well enough what they’re reflecting on. Is this about the recent project (like a retro), a single task, or maybe something deeper like team relations?
2. Explain what hides behind I Like, I Wish, What If (usually, it takes just a second).
3. Silent brainstorming: everyone writes down their ideas for all three categories.
4. Sharing: everyone shares their own insights. It’s easy to categorize them if needed (maybe you’d like to see if the group thinks alike on the topic?), and discuss why they perceive those particular moments to be positive/negative/hopeful.
5. Discussion: if the group is welcoming, it might be worth to discuss and share positive insights/comments concerning negative points of someone else.
6. Summary: ask about the energy levels. Does the group feel motivated, happy with their findings and advice? Do they want to follow up or change some of them?
7. Extension: you can lead that exercise into a problem-solving session for the identified What Ifs!
Below is an episode of Design Life Podcast, where two designers discuss their approach towards project retrospectives. Worth listening for inspiration.