Sprint Reviews, an integral part of the Scrum framework, serve as a pivotal checkpoint for teams to showcase progress and gather valuable feedback. The essence of capturing feedback in a working session can sometimes be lost in traditional approaches, especially when we stick to a presentation. In this blog post, we will discover ten experiments designed to elevate your Sprint Reviews, making them more engaging, collaborative, insightful, and impactful.
What is a Sprint Review?
A Sprint Review is a crucial event within the Scrum framework and is the second to last ceremony held in a Sprint. It provides an opportunity for the development team to demonstrate the work completed during the Sprint, showcasing the Product Increment. This interactive session involves stakeholders, fostering collaboration, and allowing for valuable feedback.
The purpose of the Sprint Review is to inspect the outcome of the Sprint and determine future adaptations. The Scrum Team presents the results of their work to key stakeholders and progress toward the Product Goal is discussed.
During the event, the Scrum Team and stakeholders review what was accomplished in the Sprint and what has changed in their environment. Based on this information, attendees collaborate on what to do next. The Product Backlog may also be adjusted to meet new opportunities. The Sprint Review is a working session and the Scrum Team should avoid limiting it to a presentation.
The Sprint Review is the second to last event of the Sprint and is timeboxed to a maximum of four hours for a one-month Sprint. For shorter Sprints, the event is usually shorter.
Why Do a Sprint Review?
The primary goal of a Sprint Review is to inspect the Product Increment and gather feedback from stakeholders. By doing so, teams ensure alignment with Product Goal, address potential issues early, and enhance collaboration between the development team and stakeholders.
Sprint Reviews also contribute to the transparency of the progress and the work they delivered, as they provide a platform to openly discuss progress, challenges, and future plans.
What Do You Do in a Sprint Review?
During a Sprint Review, the development team showcases the features and functionalities implemented during the Sprint. This showcase is not only about presenting completed work but also about seeking feedback by including the stakeholders.
Stakeholders actively participate, trying out the Product Increment, providing insights, asking questions, and offering suggestions. This collaborative exchange ensures that the delivered work meets the expectations of both the development team and stakeholders.
The 10 Sprint Review Experiments
A lot of agile teams just stick to a presentation during the Sprint Review. This is not a set up on how you can best capture the feedback needed on the Product Increment. Below you find 10 experiments you can try with your agile team to improve your Sprint Reviews.
Experiment 1: The raw and dirty
Instead of spending excessive time preparing slides and demos, focus on the Product Increment itself. Remember, it's about showcasing the value you've created, not the presentation. Challenge your team to reduce preparation time and emphasize the importance of the actual product.
Experiment 2: Go on a stakeholder hunt
Inspired by the book 'Zombie Scrum,' invite stakeholders to your Sprint Review by actively seeking out where they work. This treasure hunt approach can lead to new collaborations and fresh perspectives, enhancing the overall review experience.
Experiment 3: Time's the key
If you struggle with low attendance at Sprint Reviews, experiment with different time slots. Find the optimal time that works for both your team and stakeholders, ensuring maximum participation and engagement.
Experiment 4: Science Fair Sprint Review
For organizations with multiple teams, consider hosting a science fair-style Sprint Review. Each team sets up a stand where stakeholders can interact with the newly created Product Increment. This format encourages cross-team collaboration and provides a dynamic and interactive review experience.
Experiment 5: Let a stakeholder present
Instead of the team giving the demo, invite a stakeholder to present the Product Increment. This approach offers valuable insights into how stakeholders use the product and fosters a deeper understanding of their needs and expectations.
Experiment 6: User interviews
Rather than relying solely on presentations and demos, conduct user interviews during the Sprint Review. Observe actual users interacting with the Product Increment, allowing the team to gain firsthand insights into usability and problem-solving.
Experiment 7: Rotating presenters
To keep Sprint Reviews engaging, assign different presenters for each slide or section. This approach adds variety and allows team members to showcase their outcomes, fostering a sense of ownership and collaboration.
Experiment 8: Don't show everything
Instead of overwhelming stakeholders with all the Increments, carefully select the ones that require feedback. This focused approach ensures that the most critical aspects receive attention and creates a more productive and meaningful review session.
Experiment 9: Failure forum
Embrace transparency and create a learning environment by openly discussing failures during the Sprint Review. Share where the team fell short, what was learned from the experience, and how those lessons will be applied moving forward.
Experiment 10: Stakeholder spotlight
Highlight the outcomes of collaboration with a specific stakeholder during the Sprint Review. Showcase the changes and insights generated through close teamwork, inspiring other stakeholders to engage more closely with the team.
Implement these ten experiments to transform your Sprint Reviews into dynamic, collaborative, and insightful sessions. Prioritizing your Product Increment creates more transparancy will help you create a better Agile spirit within your team and the stakeholders.