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Who Should Run the Sprint Review Demo?

The sprint review demo should serve as some facsimile of how a product would be used in reality, right? Then who should run it, and how much effort should go into preparing it? In a post at her blog, Natalie Warnert articulates the different schools of thought on the matter to help you build the most meaningful possible demos.

The Dry Run

One way to approach the demo is that whoever built the functionality should be the one to present it. The caveat in this instance is that completed features will likely be shown in a local environment versus one deployed to a QA environment, which might be less than desirable. Additionally, since different people have completed different work, there will probably be many different presenters inadvertently dragging out the length of the demo.

Another approach to the demo is to just have the product owner do it. The product owner will probably best convey the business value to stakeholders, after all. The downside here is that a person who is busy demoing may not have the ability to read the room and get a precise pulse on how stakeholders are feeling about the demo. Between these two approaches, Warnert actually leans on the former:

I DO think that who developed the work should demo the work. However, we work together as a team, so the entire team should really be demoing the delivered functionality… I suggest a different team member each sprint (including the ScrumMaster) demonstrate all the functionality that has been finished during the sprint. The team should ensure that all the functionality is deployed into a QA environment so that the presenter only needs to go to one place to access it. This will prove that it can run off a deployed environment… Secondly it gives everyone a chance to understand what the rest of the team has been working on if they were not directly involved…

She thinks spending 15-30 minutes with each team member is enough for the demo presenter to get a grip on the functionality to be displayed, assuming the sprint lasts a standard two weeks. Only if a demo needs to be reused should preparation go beyond one to two hours. Demos are important, but not wasting all your project time readying them is important too.

You can view the original post here: http://nataliewarnert.com/who-should-run-the-sprint-review-demo/

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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