Scrum Rules: Sprints Include a Sprint Review Meeting

June 4, 2020
4 minute read

Scrum is a tool for product development that uses transparency and fast feedback. The Sprint Review is an open meeting during which the Scrum Team works with all interested stakeholders to look at the results of the Sprint: the product increment. This meeting is usually dominated by a demonstration of the working increment of software.

Ideally, the participants include actual or potential customers, users and business decision-makers. The stakeholders in attendance at this meeting freely provide feedback about the product which is then used by the Product Owner to update the Product Backlog. This feedback is critical to ensure that the team is staying on-track, that it is building the most valuable possible product features, and that the stakeholders are satisfied with the results. Missing this aspect of feedback makes Scrum only modestly better than non-Agile approaches to doing work and should be considered a critical problem to fix as it undermines the whole point of doing Scrum.

There are several important factors to remember when holding a Sprint Review meeting including: the audience, the demonstration, and managing feedback. The audience should be as broad as possible while focusing on customers and users first, business stakeholders secondarily, and other stakeholders as space permits. In order to do an effective Sprint Review, the whole Scrum Team also must be in attendance in order to have first-hand knowledge of the feedback their work is receiving. The demonstration itself should be as hands-on as possible.  In many instances, the Sprint Review replaces the User Acceptance Testing activity in traditional projects.

For example:

  • The Product Owner may prepare scripts for participants to follow and may also allow participants to try the product increment.
  • Workstations for this hands-on demonstration must be set up prior to the Sprint Review meeting.
  • A very brief overview of what to expect is given to participants at the start of the meeting. This will summarize the Sprint Goal, Product Backlog Items completed/attempted, and any quality improvements to the Increment.
  • To gather feedback, the Scrum Team members should be distributed so that each one observes a different workstation and records any feedback.
  • Then, all the Scrum Team members gather for the final few minutes of the Sprint Review to collate the feedback and allow the Product Owner to process it enough to do a quick update to the Product Backlog.

A Sprint Review is held at the end of the Sprint to inspect the Increment …. During the Sprint Review, the Scrum Team and stakeholders collaborate about what was done in the Sprint…. the presentation of the Increment is intended to elicit feedback and foster collaboration. — The Scrum Guide

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Bruce Power
Capital One
Equitable Life of Canada
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