Understanding the Sprint Review in Agile Methodology

Please find highlights from Satya Narayan Dash’s webinar – Practical Scrum Using MS Project Agile – being provided by MPUG for the convenience of our members. You may wish to use this transcript for the purposes of self-paced learning, searching for specific information, and/or performing a quick review of webinar content. There may be exclusions, such as those steps included in product demonstrations, or there may be additions to expand on concepts. You may watch the on-demand recording of this webinar at your convenience.

Agile methodology is a software development approach that emphasizes iterative development and collaboration between cross-functional teams. The goal is to deliver high-quality software that meets customer needs while adapting to changing requirements throughout the development process.

The Agile approach consists of several events, including Sprint review. This event is crucial in Agile development because it provides a forum for the team to showcase their work to stakeholders, receive feedback, and determine the next steps in the development process.

What is the Sprint Review in Scrum

Sprint review typically takes place at the end of each Sprint and is time-boxed to two hours for a two-week sprint. During this time, the team presents the product increment that was developed during the Sprint to stakeholders, who then provide feedback. The product owner and scrum master also participate in the review and provide insights and guidance as needed.

Diagram showing the sprint review event in the Agile methodology

Diagram showing the Sprint review event in the Agile methodology

One of the key aspects of a Sprint review is the feedback cycle. Agile methodology stresses the importance of obtaining feedback early and frequently to ensure that the product being developed aligns with the customer’s needs. The daily feedback cycle takes place during the Sprint, with hourly feedback in the case of pair programming, code reviews, or continuous integration. At the end of the sprint, stakeholders provide their feedback, and the product backlog can be adjusted accordingly.

Diagram showing the feedback cycle in Agile development:

Diagram showing the feedback cycle in Agile development

As discussed in a previous article, the product backlog is a prioritized list of user stories or requirements that the team works on during the Sprint. The Sprint review provides an opportunity to review and adjust the product backlog based on stakeholder feedback. The product owner is responsible for maintaining the product backlog and ensuring that it reflects the customer’s needs.

During the Sprint review, the team showcases the product increment and demonstrates its functionality. The stakeholders review the product increment and provide feedback, which can include identifying bugs, suggesting new features, or providing general comments. The team can use this feedback to improve the product increment and determine the next steps in the development process.

It is essential to note that the Sprint review is not a platform for debating the acceptance criteria or discussing detailed design. The review is primarily focused on inspecting the product increment, providing feedback, and identifying future adaptations. The team and stakeholders can hold separate meetings to discuss these topics in more detail.

Importance of Collaboration and Communication During a Sprint Meeting

Agile methodology emphasizes the importance of collaboration and communication between the team and stakeholders. The Sprint review provides a forum for these interactions to take place and helps ensure that the team is developing a product that meets customer needs.

The principles of the Agile manifesto provide a framework for Agile development and guide the team’s approach to software development. The highest priority of Agile development is to deliver working software frequently, with a preference for shorter timescales. This principle is reflected in the Sprint review, where the team delivers a product increment every Sprint, providing stakeholders with a tangible representation of progress.

Diagram showing the Agile manifesto principles:

Diagram showing the Agile manifesto principles

The Agile manifesto also emphasizes the importance of individuals and interactions over processes and tools. The Sprint review is a prime example of this principle in action, as it provides an opportunity for team members and stakeholders to interact and collaborate in person. This personal interaction helps to build relationships and trust between team members and stakeholders, which is critical for successful Agile development.

Another important principle of the Agile manifesto is responding to change over following a plan. The Sprint review provides an opportunity to review and adjust the product backlog based on stakeholder feedback, enabling the team to adapt to changing requirements or customer needs. This flexibility is essential in today’s rapidly changing business environment and helps ensure that the team is delivering a product that meets customer needs.

In addition to the Agile manifesto, there are several Agile frameworks that teams can use to guide their development process. Scrum is one of the most popular Agile frameworks and is widely used in software development. Scrum emphasizes the importance of self-organizing teams and a focus on delivering a product that meets customer needs.

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Written by Satya Narayan Dash

Satya Narayan Dash is a management professional, coach, and author of multiple books. Under his guidance, over 2,000 professionals have successfully cracked PMP, ACP, RMP, and CAPM examinations – in fact, there are over 100 documented success stories written by these professionals. His course, PMP Live Lessons – Guaranteed Pass, has made many successful PMPs, and he’s recently launched RMP Live Lessons – Guaranteed Pass and ACP Live Lessons – Guaranteed Pass. His web presence is at https://managementyogi.com, and he can be contacted via email at managementyogi@gmail.com.


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