Its called the Sprint Review for a Reason
In my previous post about the Sprint Planning Meeting: The Sprint Review: The Product Owners Meeting I went through in depth regarding this Scrum ceremony.
The important thing regarding this meeting is that it is a Sprint Review, not just a demo. I have heard many teams rename it to the “sprint demo”, “the demo” or even the “product showcase”.
Of course, the demoing of the product is an important part of the meeting, displaying what has been completed or achieved during the sprint. That should not be it.
The Demo vs The Review
If you say the word ‘demo’, whats the first thing that comes into your head? If you are in business, I guess it’s something like a salesman showing you a product; hoping you will buy it.
This kind of meeting is very one-directional, one person showing to another person the product, probably a scripted monologue that has been rehearsed.
A review is more engaged, multiple people give their input or insights, and the context of it is more of a discussion. The Product Owner needs to be engaged and given the platform to give his thoughts.
The meeting should not be a formal display of the product, the meeting needs to be informal and should not be made up to be fancier than it actually is.
The goal of the meeting is for everyone involved to get a snapshot of the product, where it is, whats been done so far and what needs to be done next. Are you on track or do you need to make adjustments as a result of the review?
Also remember that it is also not an opportunity for the Product team to interrogate the development team.
Changing the name of the Sprint Review, or any other Scrum meeting changes how everyone thinks about them. Calling it something fancier makes it feel formal and changes how people act in the meeting. By keeping its intended name, everyone knows and understands what is it expected and can act accordingly.
Only then will this meeting get its desired effect.