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Understanding Sprint Review Meetings (Ultimate Guide)

Understanding Sprint Review Meetings (Ultimate Guide)

Want to learn everything about sprint review meetings?

While the Scrum methodology can be super helpful to build top-notch products, it can get quite confusing sometimes.

For starters, how’s a sprint review meeting different from a retrospective meeting or a sprint planning meeting

Don’t worry! 

You don’t need to be a genius like Max Kenton from the movie “Real Steel” to understand all of it.

In this article, you’ll learn what a sprint review meeting is and the 6 steps to conduct one properly. We’ll also highlight the best way to manage your sprint review meetings efficiently.

This Article Contains:

(Click on the links to jump to a specific section)

Let’s get started!

What Is The Scrum Framework?

Note: This section is for people who aren’t familiar with the Agile and Scrum frameworks. If you’re already familiar with them, click here to jump straight into the sprint review section.

First things first, let’s quickly get into the basics of the Agile and Scrum framework.

Even in the movie Real Steel, Charlie Kenton had to teach Atom some basic boxing moves first, right?

For those who haven’t watched the movie, Real Steel is about a father-son duo (Charlie and Max) and their boxing robot (Atom). While Max works on fixing and upgrading Atom, Charlie teaches Atom how to box.

Now back to Agile!

Agile is a broad project management approach that includes multiple methodologies like Scrum, Kanban, and Scrumban.

But what is Scrum?

Scrum is an Agile approach that divides an entire project into shorter development cycles called sprints. Every sprint typically lasts for two to four weeks, where the development team works on different parts of the project to achieve the project goal eventually.

Still confused?

Here’s an example to help you understand.

Let’s say your team is developing a mobile game called Real Steel.

Pretty sure you saw that one coming.

With a traditional approach like Waterfall, your team takes a year to develop the game. 

Yikes! 

However, after one month of launching it, you find that your gamers don’t really like Atom’s design that your team spent over a month designing. 

Frustrating, right?

Instead, if you’d followed the Scrum framework, you’d have developed the app in stages during each sprint. 

At the end of every sprint, you’ll deliver the finished version of the game to the stakeholders (gamers) for feedback. You can then incorporate their feedback in the next release, helping you scrap bad features before wasting time developing them! 

Impressive, right?

Bailey, Charlie’s friend, certainly thinks so!

But the Scrum framework isn’t only about dividing projects into sprints and taking in customer feedback.

You also have team roles, artifacts, and meetings.

What are those?

Don’t worry, here’s a quick and easy explanation about each one of them:

A. Scrum roles

There are three key roles in a Scrum team:

  • Product owner: communicates stakeholder needs and feedback to the team. They also host meetings like the planning meeting, sprint retrospective, and review.
  • Scrum master: ensures that the team understands and implements Agile and Scrum methods correctly. They also facilitate Scrum meetings like the planning, daily Scrum meeting, review, and retrospective meeting.
  • Development team: works on developing the final product.

B. Scrum artifacts

Scrum artifacts are elements that contain essential information about the project. They help keep the Scrum team and stakeholders on the same page.

Scrum has three key artifacts:

  • Product backlog: a list containing everything that needs to be worked on in the project
  • Sprint backlog: a list of every product backlog item that needs to be completed in the upcoming sprint
  • Product increment: the product version developed in the current sprint

C. Scrum events

Each Scrum event is a meeting that helps the team plan and evaluate the work done. 

These meetings are:

  • Sprint planning: a planning meeting where the team creates the sprint backlog
  • Daily Scrum meeting: in the daily Scrum, team members discuss everyday progress
  • Sprint retrospective: a meeting where team members inspect the previous sprint for insights into how to make next sprint more efficient

Wait, something’s missing, right?

What about the sprint review meeting?

We’re finally here… (drumroll) …

What Is The Sprint Review Meeting?

Conducted after each sprint, the sprint review is a meeting that’s held with the key stakeholders. You conduct this meeting to assess the product increment and revise the product backlog accordingly.

Think of it this way: 

After the first win, Max spent a lot of time making repairs on Atom. He built Atom’s motion controller for Charlie. Then Charlie took a look and gave his feedback on the changes.

Still not clear? 

Here you go:

  • The upgraded Atom is the product increment
  • Max is the development team working on Atom, upgrading and adding new features (user story
  • Charlie is the key stakeholder who gives his feedback on Atom’s usability and suggests new features for better functionality

However, the sprint review meeting is more than just a demo of the work done.

How?

  • It gives your stakeholders an idea of what user stories are finished and what isn’t
  • It helps create or update a backlog item according to stakeholder’s feedback
  • It helps the Agile team plan which backlog item to focus on next

Additionally, it’s an informal meeting

What does that mean?

When we think of a meeting, we think of people in suits with days of planning and other formalities.

But the sprint review isn’t that type of meeting

You’re only delivering a demo of the product and asking stakeholders if they want to change anything or not. The aim is to have honest and collaborative discussions, which would be limited if you weren’t in an informal meeting

Who attends the sprint review meeting?

The entire Scrum team, including the Scrum master and product owner, along with key stakeholders and end-users, attend the review meeting.

How long is it?

This informal meeting should last one hour per week of sprint. 

For example, a four-hour sprint review meeting should be held for a four-week sprint. For a shorter sprint, the meeting time would also be shorter. 

Remember, the main goal is to collaborate with the stakeholders, and make changes to the upcoming sprint plan by creating a revised product backlog according to their feedback. It shouldn’t take forever to do it!

But how is a sprint review different from a sprint retrospective meeting

That’s also basically a review, right? 

Not quite. 

Sprint Review Meeting Vs. Sprint Retrospective Meeting

The sprint review focuses on “inspecting” and “adapting” the product increment.
However, the sprint retrospective focuses on “inspecting” and “adapting” the sprint process.

Let’s go back to Real Steel to compare these two meetings:

After a fight, Max works on repairing and upgrading Atom: that’s the review process.

But, Charlie analyzes how the fight went and teaches Atom new boxing moves to fight better in the next match: that’s retrospective.

Let’s use a chart to list out the differences.

After all, charts are fun, right?

Sprint review

Sprint retrospective

  • Is essentially a demo of the work done in the last sprint that’s presented to the project stakeholders
  • Discusses the previous sprint performance and suggests what to change
  • Focuses on inspecting the product increment and adapts the product backlog
  • Focuses on inspecting and adapting the sprint process
  • Is an external meeting involving the project stakeholders
  • Is an internal meeting that involves the Scrum team members
  • It’s held before the sprint retrospective meeting
  • It’s held before the sprint planning meeting

Now that that’s cleared, let’s see what actually goes on in a sprint review meeting.

What Happens In A Sprint Review Meeting?

What if the Real Steel movie skipped all of Atom’s fights and just gave us the result of the fight? It wouldn’t be a blockbuster for sure!

You want to know how the fight actually went down, right?

Similarly, we won’t just tell you what a sprint review meeting is and leave you hanging!

So, let’s get into how a sprint review event usually happens.

But first, let’s quickly go over what the meeting attendees actually do in this sprint review event:

  • Product owner: invites the key stakeholders and bridges the communication gap between the entire Scrum team and the stakeholder
  • Scrum master: facilitates the meeting by scheduling it in advance and setting the scope of the meeting
  • Development team: informs everyone of what’s done, what’s left, and demonstrates each user story that has been completed
  • Stakeholder: reviews the product increment, then accepts or rejects the increment or suggests changes for the coming sprint plan

Now let’s start the match!

Excited? 

Here are the 6 rounds:

  1. Start the sprint review meeting
  2. Give an overview of the scope
  3. Demonstrate the increment
  4. Get feedback
  5. Review changes
  6. Conclude the review meeting

Let’s have a closer look at each round:

Round 1: Start the sprint review event  

The referee says, “ One, two, three… begin!” and the bell rings.

Hopefully, everyone’s as pumped as Atom here:

The product owner invites every stakeholder and the entire team to the review meeting. If there’s a new member, a quick introduction is enough.

Since the product owner is the bridge between the key stakeholders and the entire Scrum team, they get the ball rolling.

Round 2: Give an overview of the scope

“Today, in the first round, we have… Atom vs. Midas!”

And the crowd started cheering!

Similarly, the stakeholders would also like to know what’s coming up in the review meeting

Just don’t expect them to start cheering in unison.

In this round, the product owner gives the stakeholders an overview of the agenda of the review meeting to ensure that everyone’s on the same page.

Round 3: Demonstrate the product increment

The match starts, and now it’s time for Atom and Charlie to show off those cool new boxing moves!

Luckily, your Agile team doesn’t need to show off their boxing moves in the meeting. 

So what happens there?

The product owner, along with the development team, discusses which product backlog item in the sprint backlog list has been “Done” and which hasn’t been “Done”.

And as you guessed it, the next step is to demo the “Done” items. 

The development team demonstrates what they have accomplished with each user story completed in the previous sprint.

For example, if the team is working on a mobile app, they would hand over a phone to each stakeholder with the latest version of the app that they finished in the last sprint.

The stakeholders will then inspect the new app and offer their feedback.

Round 4: Get feedback

Atom wouldn’t learn those cool boxing moves if Charlie didn’t teach him, right?

Similarly, the product development team also needs feedback from the key stakeholders and end-users to create the perfect increment.

After all, getting feedback and incorporating it is what Agile and Scrum are all about, right? 

After the demo, the product owner asks the key stakeholders for their feedback on the potentially shippable product increment.

The product owner then takes the feedback and implements it accordingly. 

Usually, they propose to make changes to the required product backlog item, or they recommend tweaking the future sprint approach.

Once the revised product backlog is ready, everyone briefly goes over what they’ll work on in the upcoming sprint. This gives the entire team some framework for the subsequent sprint planning.

Round 5. Review changes

Let’s say, Max installs a new upgrade on Atom. 

But before running it, he needs to check if it’s compatible with Atom’s other systems, right?

Similarly, if a change is made anywhere in the project, like a product backlog item or future sprint approach, it needs to be thoroughly reviewed.

The team needs to review timelines, budgets, potential capabilities, or other aspects of the project. This ensures that the changes are sustainable and manageable for the team.

Round 6. Conclude the meeting

The match ends, the bell rings, and the audience is ecstatic!

And while you’re happy that the meeting is over, don’t go crazy!

Wrapping the meeting is perhaps the easiest part. 

Here’s what you should do:

  • Give a quick summary of all the points discussed (5-10 minutes)
  • Thank everyone and appreciate the good performers to keep them motivated
  • Give a quick reminder for the upcoming retrospective meeting

And that’s it, you’re done!

You now know how sprint review meetings work.

However, implementing the feedback you get at these meetings is a different story.

Luckily, all you need is a powerful project management tool!

The Best Way To Manage Sprint Review Meetings In 2020

Notice the synergy between Max and Charlie?

Sure, they are a father and son duo and that’s expected, but we aren’t referring to that.

Max works on the technical side of things like fixing and upgrading Atom, while Charlie trains Atom and uses his boxing moves to help Atom win fights.

Together, they complete each other and are pretty unstoppable!

Similarly, you need a project management tool like ClickUp to take care of all the project management stuff while you’re busy developing your deliverables. 

But what’s ClickUp?

ClickUp is the world’s highest-rated Agile project management software

Used by 100,000+ teams in companies like Google, Nike, Airbnb, and Netflix, it helps project teams instantly adapt to Scrum and other Agile frameworks.

Whether you need help with:

  • Managing an Agile project
  • Planning sprints 
  • Tracking team performance
  • Conducting a daily Scrum meeting

You can count on ClickUp, just like how Charlie can count on Max!

Here’s how ClickUp helps you have effective sprint review meetings:

A. Goals to keep track of your sprint goals

Goals are important, right?

For example, Max’s goal for Atom was to be the Real Steel champion.

Similarly, in Scrum, the sprint goal is a crucial element.

But what is a sprint goal?

It’s the deliverables you expect to achieve during a sprint, decided during the sprint planning meeting

For example, a sprint goal can have a backlog item like:

  • Increase the form loading speed by 10%
  • Change app layout and color scheme

For every subsequent planning session, a new sprint goal is proposed. 

But when you have multiple sprint goals, how do you keep track of all of them?

By using ClickUp’s Goals!

The Goals feature helps break down your sprint goals into smaller, measurable Targets

While this keeps things organized, it’ll also help your team feel a sense of accomplishment as they complete each Target. 

With each completed Target, ClickUp automatically updates your overall progress percentage in real-time! This tells you how close you’re to achieving your sprint goal.

With ClickUp’s Goals, you can also:

  • Quantify your sprint goals with OKRs (Objectives and Key Results)
  • Create weekly scorecards for performance analysis
  • Track Scrum sprints in real-time 

B. Dashboard for high-level overviews of your project 

Sure, getting a good view of the things happening around you is important in the ring, but it’s also super important in project management.

Ideally, you’d want to have an idea of everything that’s happening in the project workspace.

Luckily, with ClickUp’s Dashboard, that’s exactly what you get!

Dashboards give you high-level visual summaries of the entire project, helping you ensure that tasks are moving smoothly.

With customizable sprint widgets, you can add various graphs to your Dashboard, like:  

C. Gantt Charts to keep track of your project’s timeline

An AI brain in a robot can process a million codes in a second.

But our human brains work differently, and we tend to forget things.

So when you’ve hundreds of tasks, assignees, and deadlines to keep track of, how do you ensure that your project’s moving forward?

Just use ClickUp’s Gantt Charts!

These Gantt charts provide accurate visual overviews of your project’s timeline to help keep track of its progress. Unlike most boring Gantt charts out there, ClickUp’s Gantt Charts are fun, interactive, and super easy to use!

Additionally, ClickUp’s Gantt Charts also come with various automations, like:

  • Automatically readjust Task Dependencies after rescheduling any task (nightmare averted) 
  • Calculates your project completion percentage (completed tasks vs. total tasks) to present during your sprint review or sprint planning meeting
  • Calculates your critical path, the tasks you must do to meet your project deadline on time

D. Custom Access Rights to share your project space with stakeholders

Max doesn’t usually share his blueprints with Charlie, right?

After all, Charlie could mistakenly edit something and ruin his entire development process! He’s best suited to focusing on the ring. 

Similarly, you don’t want your stakeholders to accidentally edit out a necessary backlog item or a saved sprint plan

But at the same time, you need to keep them in the loop.

So how do you go about it?

With ClickUp’s Custom Access Rights, you can maintain that balance.  

This feature lets you share your project file, folders, and task lists with a stakeholder or anyone outside your team.

But the best part is that you have complete control over what they can or can’t do inside ClickUp. 

How?

With ClickUp’s Permissions!

Here are some permissions you can set for your stakeholders:

  • Can view: the stakeholder can view project details but can’t interact 
  • Can comment: the stakeholder can add their comments on the tasks
  • Can edit: the stakeholder can edit tasks but can’t create new tasks
  • Create and edit: the stakeholder can create new tasks and subtasks
  • Can delete: the stakeholder can delete any task that they did not create

As they’ll be in the loop, it makes the feedback stage much more organized, transparent, and time-efficient.

E. Integrations with video conferencing tools

Communication is super important in any project.

Imagine going to the Real Steel competition, and suddenly your motion control breaks down. 

You have no way to communicate with your robot, and it might go rogue! 

Of course, things turned out fine with Atom, but you can’t lose touch with your team!  

As more and more teams go remote, you need a reliable video conferencing tool for any Scrum meeting, be it the sprint review or the planning meeting.

Luckily, ClickUp offers seamless Integrations with some of the best video conferencing software out there.

For example, say you need to make a quick Zoom video call to explain a task to the assigned member.

With ClickUp, you can do it without ever having to leave the task space! 

Just activate the Zoom integration and click the meeting icon to start the meeting instantly.

But that isn’t all that ClickUp can do! 

This Scrum project management software also offers various features like:

  • Dependencies: attempt your tasks in the right order
  • Docs: create project documents and share them with your team 
  • Priorities: prioritize tasks based on their urgency
  • Custom Statuses: assign project-specific statuses for your tasks
  • Pulse: know what tasks your team is most active in during a period
  • Project Management Automation: automate repetitive processes in your projects to save time
  • Mobile Apps: manage your projects on the go with ClickUp’s powerful Android and iOS app

Conclusion

The sprint review is crucial for the entire Scrum team as it gives the stakeholders a chance to review the development process and give you their feedback.

However, to get the most out of your sprint review meetings, you need a way to implement their feedback seamlessly.

And for that, you need a powerful Agile project management software like ClickUp!

From planning sprint reviews to tracking team performance, ClickUp will be by your side, just like how Max sticks to Charlie.

Sign up with ClickUp today to become the champion in the project management ring!

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