Everything you need to know about Sprint Reviews

by Rene Dunkley in January 7th, 2021

Product development is often a lengthy and complicated procedure that has many moving parts involved. In order to be successful, a team needs to work efficiently and communicate well with each other.

At ScrumGenius, we are all about helping teams become more agile by automating the communication process with asynchronous reports, meetings, and surveys.

A sprint review meeting allows you to gain a better perspective on employees’ personal or work experiences. Whether they’re struggling with a project or just made an amazing breakthrough, as a manager, you should be aware of everything that could affect the team’s productivity. 

With our sprint review meeting template, you will be able to ask the questions that matter to you the most and can help build your relationship with your team members. 

By the end of this article, you will understand

  • The history of the Scrum
  • What a sprint in Scrum is
  • What a sprint review is 
  • What the difference between a sprint review and a sprint retrospective is 
  • How sprint reviews are helpful 
  • The do’s and don’ts of sprint reviews 
  • How to automate sprint reviews with ScrumGenius

History of the Scrum 

A sprint review is a type of Scrum event. To get a better understanding of what sprint reviews, you need to understand what a scrum is. 

The scrum meeting is inspired by rugby. In the sport, the scrum restarts the game after a player causes a rule violation or error. The players huddle together to gain possession of the ball. The concept of the scrum meeting borrows from the game. Similarly, in software development, the scrum framework is used to effectively manage product development. 

The history of the Scrum framework for business dates back to 1986 when Authors Takeuchi and Nonaka, used the word scrum in their landmark essay,” The New New Product Development Game”. They argue that companies need to take advantage of speed and flexibility to be more successful in a competitive market. 

What is a sprint in Scrum?

A sprint in a Scrum framework is when a product development project is broken down into smaller pieces. The sprint is a short, time-boxed period when a scrum team works to complete a project or task. 

They can last two weeks to one month depending on the team’s needs. The sprint review meeting happens at the end of the sprint just before the retrospective. Sprints make work easier to manage, allowing teams to work faster and more frequently. 

What is a sprint review?

During a sprint review meeting, the Scrum Team and the stakeholders get together to discuss what was accomplished during the sprint. The goal of the sprint review meeting is to ensure that the goals during the sprint where met. This meeting is usually informal and is attended by the Scrum Master, the development team, and the product owner and manager. During the sprint review meeting, the Scrum team presents the product development and the stakeholders provide feedback on their progress. 

The duration of a sprint can vary depending on the length of the sprint. A sprint can last one week to four weeks. Typically the total number of weeks a sprint lasts is also the number of hours a sprint review will last. For example, a sprint that lasts one week can have a sprint review that lasts 1 hour. Or, a sprint that takes four weeks will have a sprint review that lasts four hours. 

There are a variety of questions that can be asked to ensure that the team members are all on the same page. These questions bring about a culture of delivery for everyone involved in the process. Here are a couple of examples: 

  1. Does everyone understand the team’s values and culture?
  2. Are there clear definitions and requirements around the code of review?

Just like the duration, the structure of a sprint review meeting can vary. The meeting may be broken down into smaller segments that help manage the flow of the meeting. They typically start with welcoming the stakeholders and end with the product owner requesting feedback from the stakeholders. The segments in-between can be scheduled according to the team’s needs. The agenda can include, presenting the review agenda, presenting done products, and presenting the product backlog. 

What is the difference between a sprint review and a sprint retrospective?

During a sprint review, the team focuses on what they are building, while during a sprint retrospective, the team focuses on how they are rebuilding it. Sprint retrospective meetings are shorter and the goal is to improve the development process. There are various sprint retrospective formats, which we have reviewed in depth. (add link). 

How are sprint reviews helpful?

Sprint reviews give teams the chance to review the progress that they’ve made on their sprint. 

Teamwork and collaboration

Sprint reviews help ensure that each team member is involved in the process and is on the same page with their goals and tasks that have been completed this far. They are the ideal time to also update or improve on the timelines for the project if they can’t be met before the final deadline. 

Stakeholder engagement

The sprint review meeting allows the Scrum team to collaborate with the stakeholders and get them involved in the product development process. 

Maximize quality 

It’s a great way to receive feedback directly from the stakeholders involved in the project. By using the feedback they receive, the scrum team is able to leverage their next sprint and improve on insights for the next stage in the sprint. 

Do’s and don’ts of Sprint reviews

Do 

  • Communicate with everyone involved in the process

Communicating goals and progress with each team member helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that the team is moving as a unit. 

  • Produce constructive feedback that will benefit everyone

Make sure that the feedback you provide in the Scrum can be used to help improve the performance or progress of the entire team. 

  • Review each part of the sprint

Each part of the sprint needs to receive an in-depth review. This can be done by allocating the same amount of time to each piece of the sprint. 

Don’t 

  • Take constructive criticisms personally

If your part of the sprint was not completed to the team’s satisfaction, don’t take this criticism to heart. Instead, see it as an opportunity to grow and develop your skills. 

  • Focus too heavily on one subject 

To get the best results, the range of topics during a sprint review should be vast and allow for an in-depth discussion. The topics discussed typically include what has been done, what has not been done, work that has been added, and work to remove from the sprint. 

  • Go over the time limit 

Sprint reviews can range in length but typically aren’t too long. To ensure that the meeting doesn’t go over the time limit, consider giving each person a time limit when providing feedback or asking questions. 

Automating Sprint Reviews with ScrumGenius 

One of the easiest ways to run sprint reviews is to automate them with a tool like ScrumGenius. ScrumGenius' asynchronous reporting allows custom-made sprint review questions to be sent out to team members

Scrum Review Meeting template
We make it simple to create your own sprint review questions for a report, but we also have a ready-made sprint review template for you to customize. You can run it weekly, monthly or ad-hoc whenever you finish a sprint.

Try out our service today.