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WRAP Retrospective

If your agile team had a magic genie, 🧞 what would they wish for? New tech? Time to socialize during online meetings? Opportunities for professional development? 

When your team doesn't have to worry about what is holding them back, the possibilities for continuous improvement are endless. A Wishes, Risks, Appreciations, Puzzles (“WRAP”) sprint retrospective gives agile teams the opportunity to inspect themselves from different perspectives by focusing on what could be possible if there was a magic genie making their wishes a reality.

A WRAP retrospective is a great option if you want to...

Uncover hidden issues or concerns from the previous sprint that could cause future pitfalls

Use a retrospective technique the team has likely never used before


Gain insights into your team's work and communication practices

Preparing for the exercise

Before the retrospective meeting begins, the facilitator selects this retrospective template from the options in Retrium's creative technique library.

Setting the Stage

To start, the retrospective facilitator should explain how this format works and set the team's expectation for how long the agile retrospective session should take (usually a 30-60 minute period of time, depending on the size of the team). Make sure the entire team is aware of the procedures and everyone feels comfortable moving forward before going on to the next step.


Now it's time for discovery! During this brainstorming session, the participants write down their own original ideas in response to the questions:

• What do you wish could happen?
• What are the current risks?
• What can we appreciate?
• What are the current question marks (or puzzles) for the team?

Team members should keep their notes private so that others aren't biased by each other's ideas (psst... Retrium does this for you!). And be sure to set a timer! Depending on the size of your team, you'll want to allocate a 10-15 minute time limit before the facilitator advances to the next phase of the retrospective and displays participants' notes. 


Many notes will likely contain related (or even identical) ideas. Or there may be some dissenting ideas. Awesome! Sounds like a great conversation is going to follow. 😎 To save time and make sure major topic themes are discussed, take a few minutes as a team to group notes into logical key themes. Everyone said something about the number of meetings and time constraints? Then, “meeting schedule” should be a group topic. Five people mentioned the desire for better communication between teams? Sounds like “communication” could be up for discussion. 

Dot Voting

If there are a lot of notes and/or groups to discuss, it can be challenging to structure the discussion in a meaningful way. If this is the case, the facilitator can opt to use dot voting to prioritize the discussion based on the collective desires of the group.


Set a timebox and tackle the issues! Your timebox can be set for the full discussion OR for each topic within the Discuss Phase to help ensure an efficient and timely flow of conversation. Throughout the discussion phase, the facilitator captures the key action items the team can take to help improve performance and engagement in the next cycle. At the conclusion of the retrospective, take a few minutes to review the action plan. Think of an action item as your team retrospective homework, and be sure to revisit progress on a regular basis to ensure your team is working towards potential improvements. 

We hope that this overview is helpful as you explore new ways to encourage meaningful conversations with your team, brainstorm creative ideas for improvement, and, of course, to have fun and successful retrospectives. 😃 

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