A Useful Sprint Review Format

What is a Sprint Review?

A Sprint Review is a short (0.5 – 1 hour) meeting at the end of a sprint.

It speaks to the questions of:

  1. What value have we delivered?
  2. What feedback do our stakeholders have?
  3. What’s coming up?

Why is a Good Structure Needed?

Because people make time to attend sprint reviews, and make the effort to provide feedback, it’s important that sprint review attendees feel engaged, and get value from the review itself.

A good structure puts you through a good flow, and keeps the audience engaged.

It’s a good idea to put the sprint review in people’s diaries ahead of time.

A Suggested Structure

1. Open with a welcome

Start by welcoming all attendees including people in your team.  It wouldn’t be a stretch to also thank them for their time!  By doing this we are applying the modern agile value of “make people awesome”.  At this stage you could re-iterate the purpose of the sprint review – that is to get feedback on any product increment.

2. Introduce the team

Do a round table introduction, introducing the name and role of each person in the team.  It’s a subtle form of acknowledgement for your team members.

3. Introduce the sprint goal

Tell everyone about the sprint goal.  If you can articulate the reasons behind the sprint goal, tell the audience how the sprint goal was agreed upon.

PROTIP: You could take this further by even introducing / recapping the product/project vision.

4. Showcase the value

Talk about the user stories delivered.  There should be no smoke and mirrors.  Only showcase items that are completed and of actual value to your users.  Visuals are great, even if you’re talking about some non user-facing parts of your product.  If you did some work to improve the database design, create a screenshot of the database!

Here’s a sprint review from our friends at Methven, demonstrating an improvement to the barcode system with “long range” scanning.

5. Follow up on feedback from the previous review

Before moving into the crux of the review (getting feedback), re-visit any feedback raised from the previous review, and let your stakeholders know how the feedback’s been dealt with.

6. Get fresh feedback

Invite fresh feedback in a welcoming way.  A great way to do this is to pose small and non-confrontational questions.  For example, instead of saying “Do you have any feedback?” (confrontational), you could ask “We’ve just demonstrated X part of the system.  Would you like us to demonstrate any bits you’re unclear about?”.

7. What’s coming up, and is it still relevant?

Give the audience a peek into what’s next, by pointing to some of the top items in your product backlog, then asking for feedback.

Ask the team if the feedback from today would have a bearing on any of the next items in the product backlog.  Are the top items still relevant, or do they need to adapt/pivot?

8. Close off

Closing off is just as important as opening, so make sure you thank your audience for their time!


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