Scrum Ceremony Best Practices – The Sprint Review/Demo

Computer Screen with Code on it

In today’s installment of “Scrum Ceremony Best Practices”, we will discuss how to get the most out of a Sprint demo/review. The demo should be an exciting time for your team as they show off the latest work that they have completed. Assuming the correct stakeholders show up, it should also be extremely valuable to get immediate feedback and comments on the work. So how can we make sure that we get the most value from a Sprint demo?

Purpose of a Sprint Demo:

    • To share what the squad accomplished or did not accomplish during the sprint
    • Communicate outward any blockers or impediments impacting productivity
    • To solicit feedback from stakeholders

Here are some of the best practices that you should keep in mind when running your demos:

Best Practices:

  • Present a list of stories and defects completed and not completed
    • We do this so that stakeholders can see a consolidated list of items in case there is a lot to demo and keep track of.
  • Have a demo regardless of having something to demo
    • Talk about what was accomplished
    • Talk about impediments
    • If no stories completed, explain why
  • Publish what is going to be demoed prior to demo
    • Update your internal wiki or source of truth so that stakeholders can access it and read it
    • Scrum master emails videoconference link to all of engineering and stakeholders involved as a reminder
  • 1 member of leadership should attend team demo
    • We want to ensure that members of leadership are able to keep an eye on our progress and give us feedback when necessary
  • Hold stakeholders accountable by:
    • actively ask stakeholders who do attend for comments
    • asking stakeholders who regularly miss why they are not attending
  • Have team members go to one demo for a different team every sprint
    • We always want to avoid developing in a silo. It is important to monitor what other teams are working on in case there is something that may impact us or vice versa.


Benefits of the Sprint Demo:

    • Teams take responsibility for misses
    • Allows teams to continue pursuing technical excellence and get feedback when going astray
    • Encourages teams to think in terms of the team and not just their own individual work
    • Allows teams to stay accountable and meet delivery commitments
    • Gives developers the opportunity to show genuine concern and respect for others
    • Allows everyone involved a platform to communicate honestly, openly, freely and continually
    • Gives everyone an opportunity to celebrate successes


What are your experiences with sprint demos? What has worked? What has not? I would love to hear your thoughts!