A sprint review is a semi-structured meeting where the developers present their work from a sprint (a period) to the scrum team. The result is shown so that everyone can understand and review the progress toward potentially shippable product increments.
A company can only achieve faster delivery of products with the help of this methodology. This article explains the sprint review meeting with examples, the tips for a successful sprint meeting, and the importance of the meeting.
What is a Sprint Review Meeting?
Sprint review meeting refers to a meeting which a company holds at the end of a sprint and presents increments to increase collaboration among the members and acquire customer feedback on their refined products. Its main aim is to survey the increment and adapt the product backlog where necessary.
Sprints are the heartbeat of Scrum. They are time-boxed events where the team and stakeholders work together to assess their progress, uncover and remove impediments, and plan work for the next sprint. A sprint review meeting occurs at the end of the sprint for the stakeholders to see what they produced within the sprint cycle. It is an important day for the team because they show off what they’ve built and learn how their product would be used in a broader context.
What is the Purpose of Sprint Review?
A team needs to deliver a potentially transferrable product at the closure of every sprint. A potentially transferable product refers to a team that has built a coded, tested, and a usable chunk of software. The primary purpose of a sprint review meeting is for the members to showcase what they achieved during a sprint.
The sprint meeting is significant to a company as it motivates and inspires the team to work harder. It also helps them to learn and share their best practices, and brings attention to impediments and delays. They also get a chance to review assumptions, and course corrections that the team made.
Who Attends the Sprint Review Meeting?
The stakeholders, product owner, scrum master, developers, management, customers, and the scrum team are the people who attend a sprint review meeting. They discuss the activities they engaged in the last sprint and the changes they need to make to the product. The teams coordinate and settle on what they need to do to achieve an optimized value.
The scrum master is the one who leads the event and ensures all the participants understand the agenda of the meeting. He ensures the forum is time-boxed even though a sprint review meeting doesn’t have a fixed time frame.
The meeting majorly lasts for four hours for a one-month Sprint. However, the time length can be shorter in the case of shorter sprints.
Agenda of Sprint Review Meeting
The main agenda should include:
- Reviewing the primary goal of the sprint
- Showcasing new features applied during the sprint
- Requesting stakeholders to give their feedback
- Discussing the work, they haven’t finished
- Highlighting the impediments and risks
- Reviewing the project increments objectives
- Using the top strategies from the product backlog to check into the next sprint
Steps in Conducting a Sprint Review Meeting
The sprint review meeting is a worthwhile event as it can take everyone to the next level where they will be able to make a real difference, but only if they know how to plan, prepare for and conduct a good sprint review. Below is a detailed analysis of the essential steps in conducting a sprint review meeting. All team members should incorporate these steps to ensure a smooth running of the review meeting.
- Prepare for the meeting
The members need to prepare for the sprint review meeting by choosing the attendee, date, time, and meeting agenda. They should then decide on the topic they will discuss in the session and the resources that they will require.
- Demonstrate new product and note the results of acceptance
In this step, the scrum team showcases the new products they have made. The stakeholders and the product owner then inspect the projects they have completed against acceptance criteria defined when establishing the product backlog and accept or reject the finished product.
During the demonstration stage, the scrum team may identify new developments that they can make on the product. They document the latest results for further reviewing and approval, which they implement in future sprints that are similar.
The team finally updates the status of the sprint deliverables. They also note the rejected deliverables and highlight the reason behind them, and the team steams action to correct the deliverable.
- Showcase upcoming product backlog items
At this point of the sprint review, the team discusses the critical items they need to look at in the next sprint. They take the feedback from the work of the current sprint as this affects the planning of subsequent sprints. Additionally, the team discusses the upcoming backlog items with their stakeholders and documents their comments from the sprint review meeting.
- Conclude the meeting
The sprint leader ends the meeting by documenting the discussions and conclusions for each plan and creates tasks for any follow-up they need to do. The participants of the meeting should be willing to offer their feedback on the completed product.
- Update the status of the project deliverable
The leader looks at the team’s features and deliverables, then update the project deliverable status. He then discusses the state of the product backlog and decides on the project’s scope moving forward.
Tips for an Effective Sprint Review
Sprint review meetings are all about team communication. The team demonstrates to the Product owner that they can deliver maximum value in minimum time by collaborating and communicating their progress and any obstacles. However, after a week of hard work, everyone is tired and wants a good sprint meeting. But how do you organize it? How do you make it efficient and effective? Here are some tips to help you run great sprint reviews.
- Set an Agenda
Review the sprint outcome, showcase the work, collect feedback and update the project and strategies for future work.
Ensure the meetings are short and precise while adhering to the agenda. Short sessions motivate the team to attend and give their views, unlike long tiresome meetings.
- Maintain user language
All the participants in the meeting are significant. The scrum master should then ensure the language they use is common to all and easy to understand. They should avoid using technical terms or slang, which can lead to misunderstanding.
- Opt for an alternate format
Incorporating a new format may result in new energy in the sprint, which is very significant in ensuring the success of a project.
- Avoid judgment
The members should not give critical judgment, instead, they should give constructive feedback. All the participants should feel free to share their input without being criticized.
- The participants should give their user stories.
When the team members give their user stories, they feel appreciated and get the chance to interact with the end-users, which allows them to take ownership of the task at hand.
Structure of an Excellent Sprint Review
Having an effective sprint review meeting can help your team complete sprints and achieve their sprint goals and objectives. So here is the structure for an excellent sprint review meeting.
- Product owner
The product owner needs to come up with ideas on what to expect during the meeting. He needs to identify sprint goals and give a clear context that will ensure the stakeholders have a broader understanding of their progress.
- Development team
The development teams’ task is to showcase the potentially shippable product increment and its underlying architecture to the stakeholders.
Stakeholders should issue honest time feedback on the product and highlight if the scrum team followed the sprint goals. During this period, the participants ask questions to which the development team needs to give answers them.
- Product backlog
The product backlog includes all the products that the team didn’t complete. The scrum team and the stakeholders discuss the impact of the feedback they got on any new business issue that the stakeholder gave and how it impacts the product backlog.
At this point, they review the progress of the scrum team in the context of the next release using tools such as release burn down. The sprint team and the stakeholders additionally discuss any new detail concerning shifting customer needs, marketplace, and competitors. They also discuss the company impediments and budgets for sprint reviews that don’t have customers.
All the participants need to discuss the steps they should take to ensure the product becomes successful. The focus is usually on the strategies for the next sprint.
Benefits of Sprint Review Meetings
Sprint Review meeting is an important meeting that’s held on the last day of a sprint. The meetings are highly recommended to help teams communicate with each other, share ideas and get feedback for artifacts they’ve worked on. Below are the benefits of sprint review meetings:
- Demonstrates achievements
During the sprint review meeting, the team discusses the products they have completed, which becomes visible to all members. The achievements motivate the members to put in more effort to accomplish their project.
- Direct feedback between stakeholders and developers
The participants get feedback on the product they have completed. The input may be criticism, appreciation, or suggestions for improvement. The feedbacks are very significant as they help the participants improve on their next project.
- Stakeholders get lively information.
Sprint review meeting helps stakeholders receive lively information on the development progress instead of anonymous reports, making it easier to handle the results.
- Reduced preparation
The stakeholders and the developers only need to make few preparations for the meeting since they only present completed solutions. In these reviews, they don’t focus on PowerPoint presentations and the likes.
- Increased results
All the team leaders ensure their team does their best to finish the project, hence excellent results.
- Increased ideas
During the sprint review meeting, the members share their opinions until they come up with the best. The team builds on the ideas to ensure the success of future functionalities.
Example / Application of a Sprint Review Meeting
A company manufacturing mobile phones produced its first brand in the market. The customers loved it and hence there was impulse buying. The company then held a sprint review meeting with the stakeholders, developers, managers, and the customers to discuss the changes they wanted to make on the mobile phones.
The customers gave their feedback on the phone, to which they stated that the phones were good, but they needed additional storage space and features. The meeting mainly focused on inspecting and adapting the phone increment. The development team and the product owner then discussed the product backlog items in the sprint that has been done (mobile phone) and those not done (the additional features and storage space).
After the sprint meeting, the developers spent a lot of time adding the additional features on the phone to fit the customer’s taste (that’s the review process). In the following sprint meeting, the development team demonstrated their achievement. They had increased the storage space of the phone and added additional features.
The team handed over the mobile phone to the stakeholders with the latest changes they had accomplished in the last sprint. The stakeholders then inspected the new features and gave their feedback.
As shown in this example, feedbacks are crucial in any project. The product owner takes the feedback and uses it to increase the quality of a product which helps stay ahead of the competitors. The feedbacks also give the team a framework for subsequent sprint planning.
A sprint review meeting is an integral part of the Scrum process that every organization needs to implement. It allows the company to show its progress and define the next steps for further work. The product owner and the development team use the time to communicate and discuss what they achieved in the last sprint, what is remaining, and how to resolve the issues. It is vital to set up a sprint review meeting towards the end of each sprint period. A sprint review meeting allows you to analyze how well your team performed during the sprint and identify bottlenecks before they turn into showstoppers.