Working on agile projects demands that you keep every activity time boxed to allow continuous progression and improvement. It also demands accountability from every member of the team. But how often should sprint reviews be conducted or held? What are the best practices to follow in order to make them effective?
You can find all the answers to the questions you have on sprint reviews below.
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How Often are Sprint Reviews Conducted or Held?
There is no general guideline as to the frequency of conducting or holding sprint reviews. The general rule, though, is that they can be held anywhere from one to four weeks between each sprint review session.
In some cases, a weekly sprint review is required based on the sprint length. Sprint reviews must be kept short and in repeatable phases. Breaking down an agile project into sprints and iterations makes a large project easier to manage since everything is dealt with in smaller chunks.
Based on the outcome of the previous sprints, the future iterations can be adjusted accordingly until the final deliverable is in the expected outcome.
What is the Ideal Length of a Sprint Review?
Again, there is no specific guideline as to the length of each sprint review session. The number and length of the sprint reviews will be agreed on before the start of the project.
For example, if you, as a team, has decided to conduct four hours of sprint reviews, you can set that time as the maximum limit. You can break it down to several one-hour sessions, or as many as you like.
You can have two two-hour sessions per week or have a one-hour session each week for the next four weeks. A minimum of 45 minutes per session should be adequate for a sprint review.
Sprint Reviews Best Practices
Since a sprint review is different from a retrospective, it requires a different approach. A sprint review is an opportunity for each member of the team to celebrate what they’ve done and share it with the rest of the team.
Make the most of this opportunity by following these best practices:
1. Define your concept of ‘done’
A sprint review requires each team member to present a work that is ‘done’. Make sure to clearly define what this word means so that everyone on your team can present a completed job or project.
For example, if you are developing a product, there are several possible ways to define ’done.’ Is it when the design has been approved or only when the product is in production? Make it clear right off the bat so that you can get the demonstration that you need from every member.
Also, clearly defining ‘done’ is going to embed a culture of accountability among your team and encourage them to push towards the end goal. The presentation can be delivered in a variety of manners depending on the content of the presentation to be made. It can be through slides, demo of product, software presentation, and so on.
2. Celebrate the team
The sprint review is supposed to be an avenue to celebrate the accomplishments made by every member of the team. It is not just an opportunity to demo or seek feedback from the team. Do not forget to motivate and encourage everyone by celebrating what they have accomplished so far.
This is the purpose of a sprint review – to break down a major project into smaller ones that are easier to accomplish. Make sure that you celebrate the progress that you are making as it brings you closer to the main goal.
Not only that, bur celebrating the team during sprint reviews also boosts morale. If your team is unable to make a demonstration during a scheduled sprint review, you need to re-evaluate your timeline to see if it is practical and realistic. If not, then it is time to think about how you are going to move forward and what changes can be made.
3. Structure meetings, don’t time them
It can be so easy to get caught up with timing your activity that you fail to consider the most important part of doing sprint reviews – accomplishing a goal.
Sprint reviews should adhere to a structure that you have prepared, but try to keep it casual as much as you can. Switch from a focus on getting things done within a certain time frame to a quality of deliverance. This will entirely change your sprint review approach and outcome.
4. Inspect and Adapt
The most effective and successful sprint reviews are the ones that have a specific goal. When the projects are presented, it is an opportunity to inspect and adapt. With the input from the rest of the team, the presented product can be improved by applying crucial changes that are agreed upon during the sprint review.
There are various aspects of the product that will be inspected in the process. This includes timeline, budget, market, and capabilities, among other things. The issues that are brought up during the sprint review must be addressed in order to stick to the release plan and to avoid backlogs.
5. Advice for remote teams
This is a bonus tip that aims to address sprint reviews involving remote teams. It can be difficult for distributed teams to conduct sprint reviews given the physical limitations and the reliance on virtual communication.
Make sprint reviews an integral part of your team culture. The more you conduct sprint reviews, the easier it becomes for your team to manage the difficulties of this remote setup. Luckily, there is no shortage of online tools, platforms, and apps that are available that make virtual sprint reviews still as effective.
Scrum leaders should also make an effort to conduct virtual team buildings in order to build connections with everyone. This will be the secret to forming a more cohesive group.
Hopefully, the information above answers your question on how often sprint reviews are conducted or held? Make sure to follow the best practices recommendation too, so that you get more success with managing agile projects.
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