8 Best Practices for Effective Sprint Review Meeting


8 Best Practices for Effective Sprint Review Meeting

Sprint Review is an informal meeting that looks into product increment, what has been done so far, and what needs to be changed and yet achieved. It is all about inspecting and adapting. Usually, product owner, development team, stakeholders, and customers attend this meeting. It gives the team a good chance to present a demo of the product, mark what is done, and gather feedback to make improvements.

The major purpose of a sprint review meeting is to inform customers and stakeholders about what has been accomplished so far, and if it aligns with the project goals set at the beginning of development.

It is important to make your sprint review meeting is informal yet an effective one. If you fail to achieve the real purpose of the meeting, it results in a waste of time and effort. So, here are 8 sprint review best practices to make sure you hold an effective sprint review meeting.

Read on!

1. Everyone Directly Involved should Attend the Meeting

When we say everyone, we literally mean everyone. It includes product owner, scrum master, the development team, customers, stakeholders, sponsors, and all of such significant entities directly attached to the sprint in one way or another. As we talk about, the creators include the product owner, development team, and scrum master. Here’s what role each of these play:

Product Owner

Product owners begin the meeting by offering an introduction to the goals. He puts forward the planned requirements that stand at the top of sprint goals and the team’s commitment towards them. He further gives an overview of the status of the sprint. It informs the attendees about the progress of the sprint.

The best part of the sprint review meeting is that the product owner offers information regarding defects, obstacles, and improvements that have been made during the way to enhance sprint quality.

Scrum Master

Scrum Master is responsible for the organization of the meeting. He makes sure every concerned person has been invited and tries his best to make everyone attend the meeting. He acts as the moderator of the sprint review meeting. Also, it is the job of a scrum master to gather feedback appropriately.

Development Team

The development team is the one to step ahead when it comes to the live demonstration of product functionality. They know best how a product works and what functionalities it delivers.

Therefore, the key to an effective sprint review meeting is that every related person knows his roles and fulfills them responsibly. The product owner cannot act as a moderator, and similarly, the scrum master cannot demonstrate the functionalities of the product.



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2. Structure Your Meeting, Not Time it

Most of the sprint review meetings are time-based and do not follow a proper agenda. Therefore, it is another sprint review best practice to structure your meeting to cover all the important aspects. The focus of the sprint review meeting should be on quality deliverance and not how many hours. If the team thinks putting forward the progress and functionality of the sprint requires 30 minutes, that’s it!

Structuring the Sprint Review Meeting

Now, the question that arises here is how to structure the Sprint Review meeting?

Well, there are a number of sprint review templates available on the internet. Each scrum team has a different approach, and so, there is no one-fits-all sprint review structure. However, there are some important aspects of the sprint review that a meeting should cover. These include:

Sprint Goals

The beginning part explains the overall goals of the sprint to relate to what has been achieved so far. It informs if the sprint is causing a delay in the release plans or is well-adhered to the roadmap. A brief review of the product roadmap helps largely.

Reviewing Top Requirements

Top requirements include priority requirements in the sprint. Mostly, the top 3 requirements as per the sprint goals become the key focus.

Status of Sprint

Status of the sprint is the part of the sprint review meeting where scrum master shares information regarding the plan and real-time progress. It helps identify delays and loopholes if any. A good review of sprint statistics strengthens the progress.

The status of the sprint also includes product increment and reviewing technological changes or significant improvements. Nature and the number of bug fixes should also be presented.

Product Demonstration

Product demonstration is conducted by the development team to provide a demonstration of the product up to three top requirements explained in the beginning.

Feedback

Here, the scrum master collects healthy feedback from stakeholders to judge stakeholder and customer satisfaction.

Closing

In the closing of the sprint review meeting, scrum master shares information regarding the next sprint review.

3. Remember the Rule, Inspection and Adaptation

To make your sprint review meeting effective and successful, you need to have clear aims and objectives. The most significant purpose of a sprint review meeting is to provide information to customers and stakeholders while at the same time, aiming for a refined product backlog and release plan.

This allows the team to incorporate crucial changes immediately and effectively. Here, it is important to remember that the sprint review is all about inspection and adaptation.

Inspection

Here’s what you need to inspect during the sprint review meeting:

  • Sprint
  • Product Backlog
  • Budget
  • Timeline
  • Increment
  • Marketplace
  • Capabilities

Adaptation

Here’s what you should prepare to adapt:

  • Product backlog
  • Release plan

Together, it helps you make the most out of your sprint review meeting.

4. Make it a Storytelling Review

Effective storytelling results in an effective sprint review meeting. As you hold a sprint review meeting, make sure it is not boring. The purpose of the sprint review meeting is definitely not listing down the achievements and work that still needs to be done. It is all about communicating information, along with excitement, hope, and success. That’s what makes a quality sprint review.

Your sprint story can be informative yet bland or immersive and exciting. Everyone present at the meeting should feel involved. This can be made possible by making your sprint review a tale instead of using technical language to deliver information. Your stakeholders and customers will definitely not have a complete understanding of technicalities, so using technical language can make them miss important information.

Telling the story of your sprint is just like sharing what you have been through in a positive and progressive tone. You should have a point to share in your mind before the sprint review meeting starts. As you tell a tale, connect every backlog item together, and answer questions at the end to fill the loopholes.

Storytelling makes sure everyone stands on the same page, and the process continues cohesively and productively.

5. Gather Feedback from Customers and Stakeholders

An effective spring review meeting is incomplete without gathering feedback from customers and stakeholders. Feedback is an important element of any meeting, formal or informal. It largely helps in knowing the views of your audience. In the case of a sprint review meeting, customers and stakeholders make the major part of the audience. So, it is important to collect feedback.

Well, there are many different ways to gather feedback. You can follow conventional ways of collecting feedback or bring forward a creative way to actually evaluate the views and sentiments of the customers and stakeholders regarding the product and progress.

A good, creative way to gather feedback is to prepare a survey that comes with categories. These categories should reflect the level of satisfaction/happiness. This can be done by using different emojis, say a laughing emoji presents high-level satisfaction while a sad emoji shows poor level satisfaction.

Also, make sure you leave enough space for the audience to leave any additional comments or concerns. These can help you with improvements and streamlining the process with sprint goals.

6. It should be a Live Demo of Product Functionality, not a Presentation

The sprint review is nothing like a PowerPoint presentation. The live demonstration of the product and its functionalities is one significant sprint review best practice. It reflects your command and expertise over the product. Also, make sure that the development team plays this role as they know product functionalities best and can identify any issues that come across. 

Presenting a live demonstration of product functionality adds to the credibility of the sprint. Also, it makes sure that when customers and stakeholders leave the meeting, they are happy and satisfied with the progress.

It further offers a chance to know if there are any risks attached to its functionality. This way, you can make the required improvements later.

7. Not Only a Scrum Master should Present the Meeting

As mentioned above, an effective sprint review meeting involves all the concerned individuals and teams. And, the role of the scrum master is to organize and moderate the scrum review meeting. A lot of teams think it is the scrum master’s role to deliver the presentation and progress. Most of the time, the product owner is least concerned with the sprint and gets to know about the progress during the sprint review meeting. 

That’s not how a sprint review is supposed to work. Every individual has key roles and responsibilities, and everyone has to take part in a sprint review.

Who Does What?

The significant aspects of meeting structure are mentioned above, explaining the role of each individual. Let’s clarify who does what in the scrum review meeting:

  • Sprint goals – Product owner
  • Reviewing top requirements – Product owner
  • Status of the sprint – Scrum master
  • Demo – Development team
  • Feedback – Scrum master
  • Closing – Scrum master

It divides the responsibility and makes sure presenters are well-informed before the sprint review and take out enough time for preparation.

8. Showcase the Done Product to Stakeholders

It is another sprint review best practice to showcase the done product to stakeholders at the closing. It can be in the form of publication, presentation, or the product itself. It makes sure that you have engaged the stakeholders in the process and are maintaining effective communication.

Stakeholder engagement plays an important role throughout the project. Showcasing the done product leaves enough room for stakeholders to go through the completed goals and loopholes individually. This allows them to inform you of any problem, risk, or misunderstanding standing in the way. Therefore, you can solve any standing issues before time or project completion. It saves a huge cost and time.

Also, it is a good practice to present product backlog to stakeholders. It allows the product owner to gather feedback regarding the upcoming sprint as well as the backlog itself. This helps in useful closing and ensures smooth management of the next sprint review.

So while you get done with one sprint review, you have an opportunity to prepare for the next!

Final Thoughts

The sprint review meeting is one of the most important parts of the sprint. It helps you plan and prepare for the sprint planning meeting. For the significance that it holds, it is crucial to make sure that the sprint review meeting is clear, comprehensive, and structured. It should come as a collective examination of achievements, goals, and objectives in a way that it helps identify the progress and loopholes of the project. That’s only how you can adapt as you inspect!

Furthermore, it brings your team on the same page and keeps every team member focused and motivated. As you share a common objective, the project is driven forward with a great deal of spirit and passion.

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