A Sprint Review Is More Than a Demo, But It’s Not Less

There are a few common mistakes people make when it comes to reviewing work-in-progress.

One is to treat it as simply a demo. “Here it is!” But with no structured approach to collect feedback, participants don’t know how to respond to the demo. Should they point out something that’s not quite right? Should they mention that this doesn’t seem aligned with the latest strategy change? Inevitably, somebody does share something, but it’s rarely experienced as helpful.

Another common mistake is to put no effort into the demo, failing to set the context so people understand what they’re seeing and failing to tell a compelling story with the demo so people understand why it matters. This, too, makes it hard to provide useful feedback.

Finally, some skip the demo altogether. They share information about the work but don’t show the work. Maybe there are some slides or graphs. It’s a status report. This may get people to leave you alone, but the work doesn’t improve as a result of the meeting.

There are two resources in the Humanizing Work Library that can help.

How to Give a Great Sprint Demo” isn’t just for Scrum teams. It’s really advice for how to show increments of work in a way that’ll get you useful feedback.

And this week’s Humanizing Work Show episode, “How to Get Useful Feedback on a Work-in-Progress” shares a meeting structure that wraps around a demo that we’ve been finding super useful for our team and for our clients. It makes giving and getting useful feedback easy and fun. Download the feedback process cheat sheet and use it to structure your next review meeting.

Show Ep 121 Feedback on WIP

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