Scrum Rules: All Stakeholders Are Invited to Attend the Sprint Review

June 16, 2020
4 minute read

The Scrum Master organizes and facilitates the Scrum meetings, including the Sprint Review, and ensures that all the stakeholders of the Scrum Team and its product are invited to the Sprint Review. The list of stakeholders invited should include, most importantly, end users of the product and / or actual external customers who would buy the product.

The Scrum Team presents the product increment during the demo portion of the Sprint Review. This presentation allows the stakeholders to give immediate feedback on the product increment including new functionality, quality, and desired future direction. If the stakeholders are not universally invited, then it is possible that important feedback will be lacking and the Product Owner will create a sub-optimal Product Backlog. One significant benefit of having a broad group of stakeholders attend is that it is highly motivating to the Scrum Team to receive direct feedback every Sprint. This feedback is only possible if all the stakeholders are invited every Sprint.

Tactically, organizing the Sprint Review is as simple as sending meeting invitations to the appropriate people and ensure that the team room is ready to accept visitors.

Strategically, a Scrum Master must examine various ways to reduce complexity and increase effectiveness of the Sprint Review. Is the “calendaring system” working well for the stakeholders? Is there any confusion about the time and location of the meeting? Do stakeholders understand the purpose of the meeting and do they find it valuable and helpful in their own work?

In light of the questions above, the following practices are helpful:

  1. Host all Scrum events in the team room – same location and time each Sprint.
  2. Foster open face-to-face dialogue with stakeholders, between team and stakeholders, so that the Sprint Review feels informal and comfortable like a collaborative “work” session rather than a scrutinizing “progress” report.
  3. Make artifacts transparent so the stakeholders are aware, during the Sprint and well before the Sprint Review of the teams progress regarding the work of the Sprint.
  4. Allow all stakeholders an opportunity to have as much hands-on time with the product increment as feasible to encourage practical feedback.
  5. Schedule the Sprint Review meeting such that the most important stakeholders and as many stakeholders as possible can attend. (Hint: late Friday afternoon is a bad time!)

Attendees include the Scrum Team and key stakeholders invited by the Product Owner

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Bruce Power
Capital One
Equitable Life of Canada
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