Traditions — Sprint Reviews

Nov 22 · 3 min read

Teams all over the world demo their products every day. Engineering teams, marketing teams, product design teams, a picture speaks a thousand words. People like to see, touch, and feel things. Within the Agile framework these demos are typically part of a Sprint Review which is a formal ceremony within an iteration.

Photo by Alex Litvin on Unsplash

Often Sprint Reviews are intended for the scrum team however Harry’s, and many other companies, prefer them to be bigger events. Harry’s various scrum teams use two week iterations which have a common cadence so we are able to invite all the squads to a fortnightly sprint review.

Doing so enables us to celebrate wins across teams, to break down barriers, and to share knowledge. It gives us a chance to showcase one of our company’s core values, that we are All In, All Together.

Heard around the (virtual) water cooler?

Will — COO

“My perspective is that a good demo gives the team to celebrate accomplishments, get feedback and start conversation to inform future sprint planning. It’s also a really effective way to get people engaged. Chekhov suggested that great stories show vs. tell the details…and demos show really well.”

Tom — Architect

“The sprint reviews are an opportunity for us as teams to show off what we have built and get feedback, whether we’ve hit the mark or have some work left to do. I think it’s great to hold the sprint reviews together so that we see the context in which we’re building things and how it all lands, say, with the customer on the site or internally with CX. The third reason is that it pushes engineers to take a step back and not look at the 100 lines of code written but ask what the value is for Harry’s.”

Kalpana — Director, Product Management — Harrys DTC

“The value of Sprint Review is a few fold, but most simplistically, it is the best proof of what we’ve spent time on, why it matters, and what we should do next.

  • On the non-technical side of the business, we do these monthly in a Business Review where we show peers and leaders what we’ve done in the past month, what we learned from it, and what actions we’re taking going forward. It creates a structured environment to debate performance and potential next steps. It is the epitome of Improve Always — it’s the critical forcing function justify performance and self-evaluate how we should change going forward.
  • Sprint Review should provide the same value to a different audience: show work completed not only to other engineers, but to design, product and key stakeholders of our work. It should be a forum to justify why we prioritized what we did and launching pad for subsequent discussions within Tech and with our stakeholders around what was great about what we released, what seems missing or errant, and what we should go do about it.
  • Far more than a show-and-tell, it should be a forum to provoke deep thought about our work and inspire us to do better the next week.”

Harry's Engineering

The engineering blog of Harry's