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What Is the Main Purpose of a Sprint Review?

The sprint review is one of the most important ceremonies in Scrum where the team gathers to review completed work and determine whether additional changes are needed.

The official Scrum Guide describes it as a working session and makes the point that the “Scrum team should avoid limiting it to a presentation.”

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Giving a demo of the product

This is widely considered as the main purpose of a sprint review. Developers have the opportunity to show product owners and stakeholders the changes they have implemented.

With hands-on experience of the product, the review team can then assess if additional work is needed and factor that into planning (updating the product backlog accordingly). 

A demo isn’t necessarily the best way to present completed work. Other methods can be used, just as long as the sprint planning goal remains the same: to review, assess, and adapt.

What Scrum teams can learn beyond product demonstration

Sprint review meetings should not be limited to a product show-and-tell format. Inspection and adaptation should be looked at more broadly and address budgeting, capabilities, and timelines.

For example, a completed user story may have introduced an unexpected and unwelcome level of complexity. The options to consider are starting over or continuing work but factoring in additional resources going forward.

Other purposes of a sprint review

While not the main purpose, the sprint review is an opportunity to regularly and frequently engage with stakeholders so that they can provide feedback and feel like valued participants in the project.

Other benefits include:

  • Maximizing responsiveness to customers
  • Team building
  • Quality assurance
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