WRAP Retrospective Activity

Ruth Hadari
Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert
Posted on
Jul 5, 2022
Updated on
Apr 13, 2023
Table of Content

It's inevitable to make mistakes when pursuing ambitious objectives. The key is to learn from these mistakes to avoid making them in the future – and this is where retrospectives come in.

In this article, we'll look at what WRAP retrospectives are, how they work, and how you can use them to improve your team's performance.

What is a WRAP retrospective?

WRAP is a type of retrospective activity designed to help dev and scrum teams learn from their mistakes and improve their performance.

WRAP stands for Wishes, Risks, Appreciations, and Puzzles. These will be the main discussion points for the retrospective meeting to be conducted at the end of each Sprint. Its primary purpose is to identify what went well, what to improve, and what should be changed for your team’s next Sprint.

This retrospective approach is a great way to improve your team's performance because they help you identify your team's successes and failures so that you can learn from them.

Why is it useful?

This concept stimulates the team to consider ideas and broaden their frame of mind while still allowing them to maintain a firm grasp on risk management.

WRAP Retrospective is also useful because it forces the team to reflect on their work and learn from their mistakes. It plays a vital role for high-performing teams for them to achieve more.

WRAP provides a safe environment for Scrum Masters, Agile coaches, and teams to brainstorm, collect inspiration, and develop a collaborative atmosphere. Its retrospective exercises and role-plays make it more valuable since they can fit your team's dynamics, culture, and persona.

When should you use WRAP retrospectives?

You can use WRAP retrospectives at any time, but it's beneficial if you want your team to:

  • Be more innovative when it comes to problem-solving
  • Evaluate ideas and assess their feasibility
  • Look for ways to improve their work

How do you conduct a WRAP retrospective?

There are four steps to a WRAP retrospective:

  1. Wishes 

This part has the potential to generate some bizarre, outlandish ideas that might challenge people's mindsets, cultures, or even the status quo.

You may then wind things down by having the team analyze the ideas and assess practicality throughout the conversation, but not at the beginning of the brainstorming session.

  1. Risks

Find a popular subject for participants to vote on what they believe are the most critical dangers to consider. Then, to address those risks, they can consider appropriate mitigation steps to implement.

  1. Appreciation

It is uncommon for teams to be granted avenues to recognize or acknowledge others, so allow individuals some time and space to appreciate their efforts. This part helps recognize work and results and promotes continuous excellence and team rapport. 

  1. Puzzles

In this part, the teams ask questions for which they have no answer. This is a great opportunity to get fresh ideas you wouldn't hear at a standard start-stop-continue retrospective. It's an excellent environment to share your thoughts and prompt new perspectives and information exchange.

The challenges aren't always technical, but can frequently reveal communication problems or disinformation.

Other things to consider for the WRAP retrospective

In using WRAP retrospectives, the facilitator should:

  • Remain neutral The facilitator needs to ensure that everyone has a chance to voice their opinion and that the discussion stays on track.
  • Encourage all voices to be heard WRAP is meant to be a safe space for all voices to be heard, including dissenting opinions. It is not about coming to a consensus but about generating new ideas and perspectives.
  • Encourage creativity A WRAP retrospective is about generating new ideas, so it's important to encourage creative thinking.
  • Keep it structured It's essential to keep the discussion focused. The team must have a specific topic or goal in mind for the retrospective.
  • Summarize the results – After each WRAP session, the facilitator should summarize the results so that everyone is on the same page and knows what needs to be done next.

Considering these particular points, you can ensure that your WRAP retrospective is productive and helpful for your team.

Final thoughts

The WRAP retrospective is a powerful retro activity that teams can use to generate and assess the feasibility of new ideas as well as improve problem-solving. It can help your team foster innovative ideas while also recognizing the people who have contributed value to the project by broadening the discussion to review many elements from the previous Sprint.

It is essential to keep the discussion focused and encourage all voices to be heard to make the WRAP retrospective productive and helpful for your team. WRAP helps recognize work, results, and the promotion of continuous excellence. By implementing this approach, you are on your way to driving consistent improvement within your organization.

If you want to use WRAP in your organization, keep these things in mind and use GoRetro’s online retrospective to facilitate your retrospective discussions. Your team will be engaged and involved throughout the retrospective through real-time interactive design!

About the author

Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert

Highly experienced in leading multi-organizational teams, groups, in-shore as well as off-shore. The go-to person who is able to simplify the complex. An agile advocate, experienced in all common methodologies. Responsible for the entire software development lifecycle process from development, QA, DevOps, Automation to delivery including overall planning, direction, coordination, execution, implementation, control and completion. Drives execution, and communicates on status, risks, metrics, risk-mitigation and processes across R&D.

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