What is a Sprint Review?
The sprint review is one of the last elements of every Sprint in Scrum. During the sprint review, the Scrum team reviews the increment of the last sprint together with the relevant stakeholders. The sprint review is a typical “Inspect & Adapt” moment because everybody inspects the increment, gives feedback, and decide on what to do next. The feedback from the sprint review is incorporated into the Product Backlog and if needed already taken into account in the next sprint.
Why do we need a Sprint Review?
A sprint review is a vital element of the Scrum framework since it facilitates a regular inspection and adaption of the product. This allows to adjust on a short term basis, instead of waiting for a longer period of time. Ultimately, this will support delivering the right product, and thus improving stakeholder- and customer satisfaction, reducing costs, rework and overhead and so on.
The key benefit of the sprint review is inspecting and adapting with all the stakeholders on a regular basis.
Who should participate in the Sprint Review?
As mentioned before, the entire Scrum team should be present during the sprint review together with all the relevant stakeholders. Relevant stakeholders can be colleagues from the organization, external customers or suppliers, end users and even your CEO. Everybody that has a stake in the product or will use it, is relevant during the sprint review.
Who does what in the Sprint Review?
The Scrum Master in the Sprint Review
The Scrum Master facilitates the Sprint Review by ensuring that everybody knows what is expected from him/her. The Scrum Master also ensures that the event ends within the specified timenbox. A good practise for the Scrum Master is to make an agenda of the session upfront, so that all the invited people can already have a look at what will be discussed, and they can prepare. The Scrum Master also ensures that everybody is invited to the sprint review session.
The Scrum Master facilitates the discussions during the Sprint Review and supports the inspection and adaption process by asking the right questions.
The Product Owner in the Sprint Review
The Product Owner will start by doing a recap of the Sprint Goal, so that all the attendees know what the goal of the sprint, and thus the state of the increment that will be reviewed, is. After this, the Product Owner will summarize which Sprint Backlog items have been finished and which have not.
In some teams, the Product Owner will take ownership of showing the increment to the stakeholders and explaining what was added during the last sprint, what the value is and how it will be used. In some teams, the members from the Development Team do this instead.
Last but not least, the Product Owner also shares the current state of the Product Backlog and will decide which feedback is encorporated into the Product Backlog during the sprint review session.
The Development Team in the Sprint Review
The development team members discuss how they approached the work in the last sprint. They share any possible issues that they encountered, which challenges they had to solve and how they approached these. If needed, certain decisions are also shared during the sprint review session. The goal is to share what work has been done in the last sprint, which decisions have been made and why these have been made. This creates transparency as allows the team to inspect and adapt on the process as well.
If the development team is also responsible for showing the increment, they will do this as well.
Tips & Tricks
Some tips that might help you kickstart your Sprint Review:
- Invite all relevant stakeholders to get valuable feedback
- Invite end users if possible
- Keep it interactive and fun. Prevent boring status updates, meetings where only one person talks or even worse: giving a presentation!
- Something that is not in lign with the Scrum framework, but I have found valuable in practise is to also review work in progress to get early feedback. This work is not yet part of the increment, but it is valuable to get feedback as early as possible in the process.
- Switch it around: give everybody in the team the opportunity to shown the increment to the stakeholders, prevent having the same person doing this every sprint review. This keeps it interactive and fun for the team.