Sprint review (or demo, demonstration) is fundamental Scrum ceremony providing a visibility of results to a product owner, stakeholders or anyone invited. For an agile team, a review is a key event as commitment they agreed on must be demonstrated as a real functionality.
We spent a couple of few days on-site with teams we coach. The focus of our sessions was a review of stories developed during the last sprint. The review was apparently different than it used to be ” before the scrum”. Teams demonstrated real features, not just slideshow presentation.
It is challenging, in an enterprise environment, to demonstrate the product to be really done. And if you are in Business to Business to Customers (B2B2C), it is even harder.
It is not always possible to deploy completed features to the production environment as this change can be a change of contracts signed between companies. This was a reason to use powerpoint presentation before going to agile. The presentation contained not the only description of the features, but a lot of data in details ( tests completed, test data etc).
We had to establish “an inter-company contract” first. An agreement of target environment used for demonstration. The team was lucky to agree on that so we had a chance to do a real demonstration.
Sprint review went well and all stories were accepted without any surprises.
Surprises came later.
Our coaches were asked by senior manager why slideshow was not a part of the review anymore. They were surprised as they were used to see only presentations and then present it to customers.
The question was: “How we should get an approvement from the customer now? We have nothing to take away and demonstrate the result.” This question confirmed that mind shift to agile thinking is a long-term process.
Developers develop products, not write powerpoints.
Products fulfill expectations of customers. Powerpoint doesn’t.