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Mistakes to Avoid During a Sprint Review

Updated: Mar 2, 2022

The importance of the sprint-review meeting is unquestionable, and therefore it’s vital to address pitfalls to avoid. Let us review some of the more common mistakes.

Presenting all stories even if they don’t add real value

The review meeting allows the team to display their work and receive feedback. However, I suggest focusing on demos of functional stories that add direct value to the customer and mentioning additional work done in other stories. The team can then add more information based on clarifications requested by the participants.

The overall project progress is not discussed.

Another common mistake is for review meetings to focus on demos and nothing more. Some people may say this is what the team is supposed to do, but that misses a crucial aspect of the meeting. As stated in the Scrum guide: “The Product Owner discusses the Product Backlog as it stands. He or she projects likely completion dates based on progress to date.”

The PO should share information on the overall project and the remaining work that the team has not yet delivered. In addition, the PO should show the product burn-down chart to present the overall scope of the work and what was accomplished so far.

Lying about accomplishments

Each user story is marked as Done when it meets the preliminary Definition of Done (DoD). If the team meets 90% of the DoD, it is counterproductive to share the story during the meeting and display it as Done.

Surprising the Product Owner

The PO is an integral part of the Scrum team and should be kept up-to-date with the team’s progress. Therefore, the team should not surprise the PO with development activities outside the sprint scope. This could make the PO look like they’re not doing their job.

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