How to facilitate an awesome Sprint Review in “Bazaar mode”

This article aims at helping Scrum Masters to conduct the *MOST AWESOME* Sprint Review they ever witnessed. (This article could have been titled: 41 tips that will make your Sprint Review awesome!)

The main purpose of the Sprint Review (SR) is to collect feedback. After seriously inspecting the product, a number of changes to the backlog or action points for solving impediments should be identified.

The Scrum Guide says: “During the Sprint Review, the Scrum Team and stakeholders collaborate about what was done in the Sprint. Based on that and any changes to the Product Backlog during the Sprint, attendees collaborate on the next things that could be done to optimize value. This is an informal meeting, not a status meeting, and the presentation of the Increment is intended to elicit feedback and foster collaboration.”

You must have witnessed them at least a hundred times: those Sprint Reviews where each team gets their moment of fame to show off what they have been sweating on over the past couple of weeks. How disappointing it is to look at PDF documents, powerpoints and wiki-pages full of awesome designs or other fantasy the team spent the CEO’s money on. Someone occasionally asks a polite question to prevent awkward silences. The hurdle of brain dead sheep praises the demo with a dutiful hand of applause. Off course they do; They are the next in queue, inapt to present anything in front of large crowd, excelling at boring the hell out of us.

We can do much better than this. “Show me some value or GO HOME!”

Foremost, the SR is supposed to be a thorough inspection of working software. Sitting in a room looking at dull slides or screenshots will not very likely spark a creative buzz. Did you ever do a successful inspection of anything without being allowed to touch it? No. So people should get hands on with the product and the developers should observe them. Only then we will collect sensible feedback. The attendee will click the wrong buttons, will browse back, refresh and do everything else you can imagine that was not included in our happy flow.

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