Scrum Rules: Your Product Owner Uses the Sprint Review to Help Improve the Product

September 8, 2020
5 minute read

The Sprint Review is a key meeting for the team to improve the product. There are three main purposes of the Sprint Review: inspect how the last Sprint went with regards to the product; identify and order the major items that are complete and potential changes; and, integrate those changes into the Product Backlog.

This meeting aids the team in inspecting and adapting the entire product increment and how the team is progressing towards any deadlines. The Sprint Review is a check point that helps the team to know the product’s current state, compare to its desired state, identify gaps, and take the needed steps to improve. When a Scrum Team refrains from having and participating in this essential meeting, the is team is likely to become a Scrum Team in name only without any of the far reaching benefits that many other Scrum Teams have experienced. This meeting is also where the Product Owner challenges the team to look at the product clearly. A demonstration of the Product Backlog Items completed in the Sprint is often a part of this meeting.

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. 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. 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. If the Product Backlog never changes as a result of the Sprint Review or if the product itself never needs adjusting as a result of the Sprint Review, then it is likely that the Product Owner is not gaining the benefits of continuous improvement on the product.

Attendees [at the Sprint Review] include the Scrum Team and key stakeholders invited by the Product Owner; — The Scrum Guide

The Product Owner explains what Product Backlog items have been “Done” and what has not been “Done”; — The Scrum Guide

The Development Team discusses what went well during the Sprint, what problems it ran into, and how those problems were solved; — The Scrum Guide

The Development Team demonstrates the work that it has “Done” and answers questions about the Increment; — The Scrum Guide

The Product Owner discusses the Product Backlog as it stands. He or she projects likely completion dates based on progress to date (if needed); — The Scrum Guide

The entire group collaborates on what to do next, so that the Sprint Review provides valuable input to subsequent Sprint Planning; — The Scrum Guide

Review of how the marketplace or potential use of the product might have changed what is the most valuable thing to do next; and, — The Scrum Guide

Review of the timeline, budget, potential capabilities, and marketplace for the next anticipated release of the product. — The Scrum Guide

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Bruce Power
Capital One
Equitable Life of Canada
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