Celebrate, Reflect, and Improve — The Triple-Threat of Sprint Showcases
"Success isn't about the end result, it's about what you learn along the way."
- Vera Wang
There are lots of different ways to keep your key stakeholders in the loop, but one that I keep on finding myself coming back to is what I know as a "Sprint Showcase".
A Sprint Showcase is a meeting held at the end of a sprint which allows the team to share what the team has accomplished in the sprint, provide stakeholders with an opportunity to give feedback on what has been done, and allow the team to reflect on what might have been missed as part of the sprint goal. It's usually a short(ish) meeting, depending on the length of the sprint (we usually shoot for around 30 mins), presented more like a mini all hands meeting, with a demo and an overview of the sprint goal. I see it a little differently to a traditional sprint review, but it can be just as impactful for the team, stakeholders, and the wider business.
Sprint Showcases, when done right, can be a vitally important meeting to an effective team’s workflow, creating an opportunity to pause, reflect, and celebrate the team’s accomplishments; gather valuable feedback to inform future sprints; and enable the team to move forward with a shared purpose and insight.
Elements of a great Sprint Showcase
Every team operates differently, and stakeholders will always expect different things depending on the size of business you're working in and the culture within, but there are a few key areas of focus that I think should go into a sprint showcase regardless:
Review the Sprint Outcome
Put into context what you've achieved this sprint by telling the story of the sprint. What were our goals? What have we achieved? Compare your accomplishments with the initial goals, providing a clear measure of successes or shortcomings.
Tackling Obstacles and Distractions
This isn't about laying blame, rather identifying the roadblocks that hindered the team. What tasks remain incomplete? These aren't failures, but lessons to be learned. They give insights into planning, priority setting, and level of ambition. The team should reflect and expand on why they missed the mark. Being open and honest about the reasons behind the shortcomings gives us actionable data. By knowing the 'why' we can make informed adjustments for future sprints.
Demo, Capture Feedback & Celebrate Wins
This is the teams stage for presenting results to stakeholders. The Sprint Showcase offers a structured environment for receiving constructive criticism, all of which can be used both for product improvement, but also team development. Just don't forget to highlight what you love!
Sprint Showcases should be a recurring process rather than a standalone event. We experience ups and downs with each sprint, and each time that's worth reflecting on and learning from. As teams, organisations, and individuals, we should always strive to improve, and Sprint Showcases give us that essential pause to assess and appreciate the journey. They aren't just a nice to have; they're essential.
Resources & References
- "Showcase, Show & Tell or Sprint Review" - Scrum.org
- "Show & Tells, sprint reviews and showcases - what's the difference?" - Alan Wright
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