Common Misconceptions and negative implications
Sprint Review is thought to be a “sign-off event by the Product Owner” or “a demo forum by developers” by most organizations. This is an INCORRECT understanding of the Sprint Review.
Sprint Review is actually a feedback solicitation forum. The Scrum Team seek feedback from the stakeholders during the Sprint Review. This helps address the deviations. The Product Owner and Developers work together on a day-to-day basis. The Product Owner DOES NOT wait till the end of the sprint to give feedback to the Developers.
- Product Owner needs to participate during the Sprint and provide feedback throughout the Sprint to the team. This gives an opportunity to the team to work on the feedback by the PO and adapt if required. This also gives opportunity for the PO to get the product ready by the time the Sprint ends.
- Product Increment is considered as an INPUT into the Sprint Review and not an output as thought by many people. Therefore, sign offs (if any) have to be done before the Sprint Review starts. Also the sign-off – if anyone has to do – it has to be the Product Owner. That’s why the word “Owner”.
- When the Sprint Review starts, the Product Owner and Developers have to be in sync with what is being shown to the stakeholders. If both the roles are in sync, then Sprint Review becomes an excellent opportunity to solicit feedback from stakeholders – who could be sales teams, marketing teams, sponsors, end-user representatives etc.
- If one wants to use the word “Demo”, then my recommendation is to use the word during the Sprint when Developers demos the product continuously and seeks feedback from the PO. Demo should be ongoing and day-to-day where-as the Sprint Review is the minimum opportunity to solicit feedback from stakeholders.
- Some may argue that getting Increment is impossible considering that stakeholder feedback happens in a Sprint Review. What we really recommend is that Sprint Review should be a “minimum” forum to seek feedback from stakeholders. Scrum does not stop you from getting more feedback from stakeholders during the Sprint.
- The objective of the Sprint is to get a “usable” Increment at the end of the Sprint. This is possible if feedback is taken frequently from stakeholders – at a bare minimum during the Sprint Review. The Product Owner feedback should be day-to-day
Sprint Review therefore, is an informal opportunity for the Scrum Team to solicit feedback from stakeholders and make sure that the deviations are addressed.