TL; DR: A Sprint Review without Stakeholders
There are plenty of failure possibilities with Scrum. Given that Scrum is a framework with a reasonable yet short “manual,” this effect should not surprise anyone. A Sprint Review without stakeholders may create an unhealthy bubble for the Scrum Team due to the disconnect, thus resulting in lower effectiveness.
Join me and explore the reasons and the consequences of stakeholders avoiding participating in the Sprint Review in less than 150 seconds.
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Why a Sprint Review without Stakeholders Is the Path to Mediocrity
This Scrum anti-pattern can create an unhealthy bubble for the Scrum Team due to the disconnect from the stakeholders. The lack of collaboration may lead to less effective Scrum Team.
There are several reasons why stakeholders might not attend the Sprint Review, for example:
- They do not see any value in this Scrum event. They are satisfied with studying your report on the output of the Sprint. Why bother personally with the issue when it is the accountability of the Scrum Master to make the team deliver while the Product Owner ensures that the Scrum Team builds the “right” things?
- Related to the first reason, yet not identical: The stakeholders do not understand the importance of the Sprint review Event. Probably, they have never received a proper introduction to Scrum and are not aware of their critical contribution to the Scrum Team’s success.
- Alternatively, there may be a conflict with a more critical meeting from their perspective. You can’t be in two places at the same time. This is the reason that you should consider running the Sprint Review at a time most suited for your stakeholders—despite the rigid flow from Sprint Review to Retrospective to Sprint Planning.
In my experience, you need to “sell” the Sprint Review event within the organization, particularly at the beginning of your journey to embrace Scrum. For example, a tactic one of my previous Scrum Teams used was to award a bit of its capacity to dealing minor issues that attending stakeholders had. Besides this form of “bribery,” convincing the CEO to attend the Sprint Review typically will do the job as well.
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Scrum’s Sprint Review is a critical Scrum event. It answers the question of whether the Scrum Team is still on track delivering the best possible value to the customers and the organization. Avoiding the before-mentioned Sprint Review anti-pattern can hence significantly improve a Scrum Team’s effectiveness.
What have you done to convince stakeholders to participate in the Sprint Review? Please share with us your tips & tricks.
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