Get the Most Out of Your Sprint Reviews
The team just finished presenting the work done in the past sprint. There’s been some feedback and comments:
Oh, that looks good.
It’s nice that it works on phones now.
It’s feedback and it could be better but it’s not anyone’s fault except the team. It’s the team’s job to get everyone in the review comfortable and primed to give feedback through the meeting.
Easier said than done. Let’s look at a few small things that can be performed that will have measurable returns at the end of the meeting.
Who Doesn’t Love Small Talk?
Not everyone does but it’s your job to help enable those in the meeting to get comfortable. Know your audience and ask about a topic they’d like to talk about.
Is someone in the group a proud parent? Ask about how their kids are doing to get the conversation started. It doesn’t and shouldn’t be something monumental, the only goal is to get the conversation started.
Instead of awkward silence the first few minutes of the meeting, they’ve instead chatted about how well their kid’s little league is going. They’re already comfortable to talk about their family with you – feedback on your presentation will be a cinch.
Throwing a Few Softballs
The product owner has expertly delivered the first portion of the sprint review and segues to the demo. Things are going well and everyone in being attentive, time for some targeted questions, right?
Targeted in a way, yes.
Just like a baseball pitcher does a few practice swings before trying to slam the ball over the fences. A few practice or “softball” questions will boost confidence and prime stakeholders for the more important questions that will follow.
It’s a Process
Start small and naturally work things in that your team is on board with. Developing great software is a team effort and getting feedback during the review is no different.
Just like your team iterates during development, a successful sprint review just as much refinement.