What is a Sprint Review?
There is a meeting that occurs at the end of a Sprint, in Scrum, where one or more Scrum Teams provide insight to stakeholders into work that they completed during the Sprint. For software teams, it’s preferred for most of the time, and the conversation, to be devoted to a demonstration of working software. Evidence of an effective Sprint Review includes feedback from multiple stakeholders, celebration of accomplishments, along with insights that the Scrum Team(s) can use to reflect on work they have already done, and also on work that is not yet started.
The Sprint Review can be a motivational, team-building event, since it is typically the only one of the Scrum events where Scrum Team members and stakeholders are in the same meeting.
What’s the Benefit of a Sprint Review?
The benefit of a Sprint Review is it gives a Scrum Team an opportunity to inspect the progress of work performed during the Sprint, via direct interaction with stakeholders, along with providing insights on potential course corrections the team might need to make during the next Sprint.
Sprint Reviews occur at the end of every Sprint. Information gathered during the Sprint Review can be a critical input for Sprint Planning.
Who attends the Sprint Review?
- Scrum Master (May be the facilitator)
- Product Owner (May be the facilitator)
- Scrum Team(s)
- Product Manager(s)
- Scrum Team(s)
- The Sprint Goal from the most recent Sprint
- The Sprint Backlog from the most recent Sprint
- An Increment (finished product)
- Alignment of Stakeholders and Scrum Team(s)
- Feedback for planning, including new or modified user stories and adjustments to the Product Backlog as needed
Preparing for Success
Scrum Team members should be prepared to demonstrate how completed work fulfills the Sprint Goal, and also to provide insight into any planned work that they were not able to complete. The Scrum Team’s focus should be on the actual finished product, relying on slides or similar artifacts only as a means to provide context and structure. As a general rule, it’s helpful for team members to be prepared to discuss every item that was in the Sprint Backlog, whether completed or not.
Since the Product Owner (PO) is closest to the stakeholders and customers, facilitation responsibilities are often shared with a Scrum Master. It’s especially important for some pre-planning to occur so that facilitation responsibilities are clear.
There are various ways for facilitators to show and describe the Sprint Goal and the ways that the completed user stories support the Sprint Goal, such as Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) software that the team(s) might use to manage their work, other other software. As stated previously, the emphasis is on demonstration of working product that the team completed.
For collocated teams, a Sprint Review should take place in a comfortable space where open discussion can take place. Whether everyone is in the same space or not, open communication is key, and thus effective usage of collaboration tools is especially important.
Software with which to display the Sprint Goal and completed user stories, along with one or more working environments in which stakeholders can see the finished product.
- The facilitator describes the Sprint Goal.
- The facilitator summarizes the user stories that were completed and how they support the Sprint Goal.
- The Product Owner and/or one or more Scrum Team members demonstrate finished product.
- One or more people record the feedback given by stakeholders, and the facilitator assists with asking clarifying questions.
- The facilitator provides visibility into what work the team is planning to do next.
- The facilitator recaps the major feedback and how it might necessitate any changes to the Product Backlog.
Other Guidance for Sprint Reviews
- The Sprint Review should occur at the end of the Sprint, ideally a short time before the Sprint Retrospective.
- Since the focus should be on the finished product, minimize time spent on presentation materials.
- Take steps to encourage conversation. If feedback seems limited, the Product Owner should reach out to individual stakeholders and customers as soon as possible.
- The meeting should happen at the same time, at a regular cadence, so that stakeholders and customers can make time available on their calendar.
- If there is a need for a longer conversation, the Product Owner may schedule additional time to follow up with stakeholders.
- The Product Owner should refrain from making specific commitments with respect to the next Sprint until Sprint Planning. Thus an ideal choice is to agree to making changes to the Product Backlog.
Sprint Review Video
Sprint Review Podcasts
Sprint Review Example
Authored by Steve Moubray
Edited by Philip Rogers
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