12 Tips for a Productive Remote Sprint Review

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We’ll outline what a Sprint Review is, as well as our top Sprint Review tips for making it productive and effective. Always remember, though, that Agile is meant to be a flexible approach — what works today may not work tomorrow, and you should always be looking for ways to improve your processes and approaches.

What is a Sprint Review?

Successful Agile software development is impossible without effective Sprint Review. The Scrum Guide has this to say on the matter:

The purpose of the Sprint Review is to inspect the outcome of the Sprint and determine future adaptations. The Scrum Team presents the results of their work to key stakeholders and progress toward the Product Goal is discussed.

During the event, the Scrum Team and stakeholders review what was accomplished in the Sprint and what has changed in their environment. Based on this information, attendees collaborate on what to do next. The Product Backlog may also be adjusted to meet new opportunities. The Sprint Review is a working session and the Scrum Team should avoid limiting it to a presentation.”

We’ve already got our first dos and don’ts of the Scrum Guide!

  • Do: inspect what is Done (as in the Definition of Done). Ensure that everyone knows what’s going to happen in the next iteration.
  • Don’t: let it be just a presentation or a demo.

So let’s see what the Sprint Review agenda looks like, what the participants should do at the meeting, and what should be left out.

Sprint Review Meeting Agenda

Let’s take a look at the sequence of events during the Sprint Review:

  • The Product Owner starts the meeting by describing the Sprint Goal, what is Done and what is not Done.
  • Developers present to Stakeholders what was Done during the Sprint and how it is functioning. They also discuss problems and answer questions.
  • The Stakeholders ask questions and give feedback regarding a new increment. They need to understand what was done and how it works.
  • The Product Owner describes the actual state of the Product Backlog, gives an overview of changes in the marketplace, and makes projections on release dates.
  • The participants revise the budget, time, and possible capabilities to understand what steps should be done in the next Sprint.

Sprint Review Agenda

Remote Sprint Review Tips

We asked the Exadel Agile team for 12 tips on how to have an efficient Sprint Review:

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  • Start the Sprint Review Meeting by introducing all participants.
  • Before discussion starts, clear the air with small talk.
  • Outline the key points of the meeting.
  • Disable all notifications so that they will not distract you during the meeting. Put everything on “Do not Disturb.”
  • To avoid background noise, ask participants to switch off their microphones when they’re not speaking.
  • Make sure that information is concrete and available for participants.
  • Share metrics that you’ve gathered. Present the information with visuals; they make it easier to catch up on information.
  • Include a Team Voice in the Sprint review. A Product Owner should drive the meeting, invite the stakeholders, present new features, and outline upcoming developments. But don’t forget about the Developers; let them speak directly to stakeholders and end users.
  • Before the meeting, ask Developers to prepare cards to highlight difficulties and victories (if appropriate). It will be easier for Developers to show their progress to stakeholders and share their insights. This method will increase transparency and engagement between Developers and Stakeholders.
  • Let stakeholders inspect the outcome of the Sprint. Select a volunteer or volunteers and ask them to go through the newly implemented flow. The goal here is to involve Stakeholders in the process and encourage them to give feedback. The Sprint Review is not a PowerPoint presentation, but a working session. The live demonstration of the product and its functionalities reflects your command and expertise over the product.
  • The Scrum Team must evaluate their progress against the Product Goal. Usually this includes a review of Product Backlog items. You can also use the Product burnup chart or other diagrams to visualize your path.
  • The main indication of a successful Sprint review is a common understanding of what to do next.

A Sprint Review duration doesn’t have a linear progression. Generally, a four-week Sprint will have a Review of up to four hours, and shorter Sprints have shorter Reviews. These Sprint Review tips are a great start towards achieving your main purposes: inspecting the increment and adapting the Product Backlog based on new insights, ideas, and changes.