We discuss some common Real-Life scenarios encountered during Sprint Review here in this article,
Sprint Review is the formal Scrum Event where the Scrum Team and Stakeholders to interact and inspect the outcome of Sprint. Together the Stakeholders and Scrum Team decide about next steps for the product. This is a working session. With that in mind, people should avoid making it a presentation. Another common misconception is that “Sprint Review is a Sign off Forum.”
This article describes the Sprint Review in depth.
Sprint Review Scenario I – Stakeholders do not join the Sprint Review
One of the common challenges faced is stakeholders.
One of the most common challenges faced by a scrum team during sprint review is that stakeholders are very busy to attend and often cancel their attendance in the last minute. Some techniques that help to encourage the stakeholder to attend the sprint review are as below:
- – schedule the meeting on a time which is convenient for most of your stakeholders. Sometimes stakeholders do not attend simply because of an inconvenient time slot!
- Ensure that you consistently have just the right amount of items to show during the Sprint Review
- Explain the stakeholders that their timely and ongoing engagement will avoid a lot of wasted effort afterwards.
- Engage all the stakeholders during the Sprint Review. Ensure you have a sprint review which is well facilitated so that all the stakeholders have ample opportunities to share their feedback
- Treat the stakeholder feedback respectfully. Often the stakeholders are not updated afterwards about action items which came from their feedback. Even if a particular feedback cannot be implemented because of any reason, it is very important that the stakeholder is updated about it.
- Make sure that right set of stakeholders are involved and they have some anticipation about what they are going to see – create excitement!!!
Sprint Review Scenario II – Product Owner treats Sprint Review as acceptance and sees the work done for the first time.
Product Owner treats Sprint Review as acceptance and sees the work done for the first time.
Sometimes Product Owner is not fully engaged with Developers on a daily Basis. Instead, the Product Owner uses the Sprint Review as an opportunity to formally approve or (even worse reject) the product backlog items completed during the sprint. We need to keep in mind that this is NOT the purpose of Sprint Review. Sprint Review is about getting a feedback. Scrum Guide says that “The purpose of the Sprint Review is to inspect the outcome of the Sprint and determine future adaptations.” The Scrum Team and Stakeholders sometimes get caught in getting feedback on the current work only. This often means, discussion of over all future direction gets less importance.
In general, a sprint review is NOT the place to get formal sign-off on their work from their product owner. Developers and product owner should be working closely during a sprint so that the team knows what the product owner thinks of what has happened during Sprint.
Sometimes contracts require a formal sign off. I usually encourage the Scrum Teams not to use Sprint Review for this. Instead I recommend that this time is used to discuss “what next” for the Product. This will help to make Sprint Review a forward looking Scrum Event rather than getting bogged down on “why we did or did not do something”
Sprint Review Scenario III –Difficult to handle Sprint Reviews because of lot of feedback
There is a very good participation and a lot of feedback but that makes conducting and managing Sprint Reviews a difficult task. Some things which may help are
- Invite only relevant set of stakeholders. Some times just the sheer number of people involved is overwhelming
- Encourage the stakeholders to be a part of ongoing refinement activity for the Product Backlog
- Have just the right amount of work to showcase during the review – if you showcase too many items, some times its overwhelming
- Prioritize the work on which you want feedback
- Provide enough information about the expected content before the Sprint Review. Stakeholders will then be better prapared for the Sprint Review.