The Sprint Review event is part of the Scrum framework and takes place at the end of each sprint. During the Sprint Review meeting, the Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Development team meet with stakeholders and customer representatives to discuss the final results of the product increment.

The following article presents real possible situations that may occur during the Sprint Review event. The sample situations are based on BVOP.org training materials related to the official Sprint Review event and are presented in terms of the Scrum Master role.

Your colleague, a beginner Scrum Master, asks you a question. He asks you if, for their 3-week sprints, they can accept the Sprint Review event lasting 2 and a half hours.

Scrum Master answers: I will share that according to our unwritten “laws” it is right to have at least 3 hours in a 3-week sprint. I will tell him that most likely there will be representatives of the client who will ask questions about some of the stories and it will be nice to take time for that. But in general, I will keep his decision, because I do not have details of what they worked on and how, maybe this time will be enough for them.

You gather at the usual place for your Sprint Review event. Attendees are: You as the Scrum Master, the development team without a new budding colleague, the Project Manager from the client, their Product Manager, Business Analyst, and a hired external usability consultant.

Scrum Master answers: It is assumed that the usability consultant is invited by either the Product Owner or the client and in both cases, he should be aware of some details of the product and would not be an obstacle for anyone. I would like to continue our meeting on the agenda. Scrum Developers should be focused and proactive. Reference: Professional Scrum Master vs Professional Scrum Developer, stc-montreal.org

A project manager from your organization came to the Sprint Review event. He listens carefully and watches. He is pleased that the work is going well. Finally, he turns to you and asks you when you expect as a guide to releasing the latest finished developments to a real product in a living environment.

Scrum Master answers: We will try with our team to give him the most accurate time when we expect and it is possible for this to happen. Once he liked the product and we have his approval, we will make sure that it is as soon as possible according to our original plan. I guess here the QA specialist will add his vision, and Product Owner together we will determine one day as the most optimistic and we will try to follow it.

The Sprint Review event begins. Shortly after greeting each other, the customer’s product manager opens a topic about the project budget. He is not sure if his organization’s resources will be enough to continue working on the product for another 6 months. Ask your Product Owner for comment and advice on their Roadmap.

Scrum Master replies: I don’t think our Product Owner would have anything to do with the budget that the customer has set and rather has at the moment. Reference: What makes a good Product Owner and what do they do?, scrumtime.org On the other hand, such information would be valuable for the team and Product Owner in planning our next projects, tasks, sprints after that. Quite a delicate situation in which it is good for the client to be aware that everything we have started and paid for so far will be completed on time. The continuation of the project and its financing should rather be discussed at a high management level and not go into detail with the team at Sprint review.

At the Sprint Review event, business people and all representatives outside your Scrum team review what has been achieved and let you know that they have no questions or any other comments or suggestions, and prepare to leave the meeting.

Scrum Master answers: I would ask them to take some more time and pay attention to a few more questions. Namely, whether it would be possible to prepare an approximate Release plan, whether they need more clarifications about the product backlog and whether it would not be appropriate to rearrange some of the services for the next one. Their short-term plans will also be important for our team to be as technically well-prepared as possible and to prioritize our time as a Scrum team following this framework. Reference: Scrum problems, causes of failure and mistakes, phron.org

Your client’s Account Manager will contact you and ask if you can demonstrate your product one day before the end of your sprint because they need to prepare presentations.

Scrum Master answers: Yes, if I have an almost finalized product, I would provide it with a description of what is not ready yet and what it is expected to show once it happens. Providing a demo to the customer will help us get feedback in a timely manner. Their additions and other requests, as they always come out, will be considered in time and, if possible, will be included in the final product. Thus, the client would be better satisfied and we would be able to save a delay if we had to make changes and refinements after the end of our sprint. Reference: Problems of the Scrum Master role with the Sprint Review and Scrum Sprint Retrospective meetings, nebraskasocialstudies.org

Your customer’s product manager disapproves of the Definitions of Done for one of your User Stories and refuses to accept work on it. Everyone is staring at you, including your Product Owner.

Scrum Master answers: I will ask what has bothered him in this field so that we can learn a lesson and fix it if it is our fault or we have mistaken the processes somewhere. It is supposed to be something important for the whole project and if it is so, we will be grateful for the timely intervention and will discuss with the team how to remove or improve it by returning it to the product backlog and looking at it in the next sprint. The Product Owner role should do this carefully. Reference: Product Owner role in Scrum and real problem situations, vbprojects.org

One day before your Sprint Review event, your client’s Account Manager contacted you and explained that they were working with their Marketing Department to prepare new plans. He asks you to send him items that your team will complete during the sprint.

Scrum Master replies: I would gather a little more detail on what exactly he means. And I would explain to him that in the sprint review we will focus on what has been achieved, inspect the product increment, change if necessary in the product backlog and gather information about their opinion on what has been achieved. If we have in mind Product Backlog Items for future sprint, this would not be possible, as we have not yet passed the sprint planning for the next product. We are not using the Kanban work process so we stay focuses on the sprint. Reference: Kanban methodology vs Scrum framework, libraryofmu.org

You have already presented your increment at the Sprint Review meeting. Product Backlog Items have been officially announced as completed. There is no work left unfinished. Everyone looks happy. Business people offer, as everything is fine, to discuss possible promotions of team members who have performed well, and then want to take you for a drink.

Scrum Master replies: I will thank you for the good feedback and I will direct them to share their opinion about the work of our team with our director, this would be a very good testimony to him what we have managed to achieve during these difficult few weeks. The Product Owner needs to support the entire team and the ready increment as he is responsible to please the stakeholders. Reference: The product owner is king, CIO.com

Regarding the informal offer, it depends on whether we are on a business trip and how our company has chosen to deal with such offers from the business, they often have a similar business practice with their clients to share and informal meetings, dinners, especially if different cultures. Much depends on the business code of conduct process that follows the company (and which we must have read and Acknowledged) for which we are currently working. Other companies would consider similar proposals unethical and unprofessional, I would reject the proposal with an excuse – “I will try to gather new strength for your new project” for example. We will discuss such topics on our Daily Scrum every day. Reference: Real Scrum problems of the Scrum Master role during the Daily Scrum meeting, mpmu.org

Shortly before the Sprint Review event, a team member told you that User Story covers all definitions of completeness, but the finished work visually differs from the sketches attached to the Product Backlog item.

Scrum Master answers: We will look at exactly where the discrepancies are and whether it is possible to get even closer to the visualization in the sketch. I guess some of the engineers will have a detailed explanation of why this is so (if there is a discrepancy) I would also ask the others to share their opinion if they think so. Reference: Scrum problems with questions, answers and explanations from the point of view of Scrum Master, ossalumni.org

If we all think that there is a discrepancy, we will discuss its elimination so as not to offend the client and make our work seem incomplete. I will also consult the Product Owner for advice and opinion. Last but not least, I would like to look again at what the customer meant by the specific thing and whether we really did exactly what they wanted, despite the discrepancy in the Product Backlog. In general, we will try to look at a similar problem from all sides. Reference: Scrum Master issues related to the Sprint Review event.

While viewing Product Backlog items, the customer project manager hangs up and asks your Product Owner. He asks him why two very similar items are rated Story Points 3 and 13. Your Product Owner is looking at you.

Scrum Master answers: I will answer that 2 engineers had all the necessary information and started working directly on uploading the code to the updated platform (which already takes 3 points) at the beginning of the sprint we did not have this new update created and the technicians predicted time to value for the similar made 1 – 13 points and were right. Kaizen principles say we need to provide technical feasibility to every process so I need to train the Product Owner to be a more Kaizen-oriented person. Reference: Every Scrum Master must know the Kaizen principles, wikipedia-lab.org

After the innovations, we have described everything in the backlog product and we will now consider 3 Story Points for a similar task. Thanks for the question and reminder to actually add Product Backlog data for this User Story. I will also add the details in the Definition of done fields.

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