Agile Memes

A sprint review or system demo without stakeholders is useless.

May 26, 2023 | Meme, Product Owner, Scrum, Scrum Master

How many times have you seen sprint reviews without stakeholders? I must admit, I have seen this far too often in my life. And it’s a waste of time!

Why is it useless?

First we have to ask, what the purpose of a review is. I often get answers like:

🤔 to see the progress of the project
🤔 to check whether the teams have achieved their sprint goals

While there is a certain focus on using the working product as the primary measure of our real progress, that’s not the main focus of a review.

And a review is by no means a Tayloristic event to check on whether the team did their work 🤦‍♀️! Agile companies trust people to do the best they can; and if they don’t, they will assess the problems and tackle them or ask for management’s help.

So what is the main focus of the sprint review?

👉 Get feedback from stakeholders to change our plans in order to deliver more value.

The sprint review or system demo is our main event around which agile product development revolves. This is when we understand whether what we build is actually benefitting the customer. This is where we mitigate risk by validating assumptions. This is where we want to hear lots of feedback and ideas from stakeholders. This is where we adapt our plan. This is where successful products are made.

If your review hardly ever has stakeholders or you don’t get feedback or you don’t change your plans regularly, you could be wasting your time.

Did you get stakeholder feedback on your last review or demo? Did you make changes to your backlog or planning due to that?